Tuesday, 11 August 2015
Theatre review: A Naughty Night with Noël Coward
Marion thinks Alice's husband is perfect, but her friend bursts that bubble: David (Stephen Fawkes) always tries to be the bigger man, see every side of an argument and be forgiving; his wife wishes for a bit more fallibility and passion.
The production ties the stories together with a couple of Coward's songs, performed at the piano by Tom Self, a nice touch but one I felt more could have been done with - the musical interludes are a bit sparsely used and stop completely by the time we get to the second playlet, with the result that it doesn't feel like Walters knew how far he wanted to stick to the conceit.
We Were Dancing is the more entertaining of the two plays, its story that turns Louise and Karl's sudden romance into an entire relationship abridged into one evening, coming with a lot of trademark pithy, funny one-liners. The Better Half features the evening's strongest performance in the sharp and confident Pickup, but the attempt at a slightly more serious piece comes across as something of an extended rant. This is also where Coward throws in his references to women wanting to be slapped around a bit to prove their husbands' love; different times and all that but the amount of times the writer casually drops that Carousel shizzle into his work is becoming another reason I can't quite see Coward as the enduring genius so many others see him as.
A Naughty Night with Noël Coward by Noël Coward is booking until the 29th of August at the Old Red Lion Theatre.
Running time: 1 hour 10 minutes straight through.