A Naughty Night with Noel Coward
Old Red Lion Theatre (London) Until 29th Aug 2015
Directed by Jimmy Walters
If you are a fan of Coward this is a good opportunity to catch two of his less frequently seen short plays; We Were Dancing and The Better Half. There is a comfortingly traditional feel to this production. It is sometimes nice to see a very classical performance of classic theatre. No it’s not ground breaking but not all theatre has to be, it is entertaining and almost a little nostalgic.
The production team have worked to create the feel of the 20s before the auditorium doors open and the plush but cozy interior of The Old Red Lion pub, in which the theatre is situated, is perfect for getting the audience into the swing of the era.
The set is quite elaborate for such a small theatre. It is well designed and picturesque, very in keeping with Coward’s sumptuous 20’s aesthetic. It would possibly have been more effective to go for something simpler so as not to draw too much attention from the action but that is a matter of personal taste and it was certainly in keeping with the style of the production.
The cast is young and vibrant, with the standout performance comeing from Beth Eyre. Eyre plays supporting roles in both plays and shows an engaging versatility and command of character. James Sindall as Karl Sandys gives a delightfully tongue in cheek performance, expertly capturing Coward’s dry wit.
An added treat is the appearance of some of Coward’s original music, played beautifully by Tom Self. The evening is really an homage to the genius of Noel Coward and the passion of the cast and creative team for the writing is unmistakable. Coward was a true entertainer and this production carries on that fine tradition.
Tickets: £13.50 / £11 – Booking
© Alexandra Birchfield 2015