A Talent to Abuse

noel-5.jpgWhen we’re not roiling Dandyland with our autocratic pronouncements (see previous post), D.net does post the occasional piece of dandy scholarship written from a reasonably objective point of view.

And since the good work we do never warrants the attention of our diatribes and harrangues, you may have actually glossed over Robert Sacheli’s superb paean to Noel Coward penned over a year ago.

Even if you did read it closely, read it again, as an Auckland theater audience will be doing shortly.

To wit, from our inbox:

Just found your entertaining website through searching for material on Noel Coward.

I am directing a professional production of Coward’s play “Design for Living” here in New Zealand. I’m looking for well written biographical material to include in our programme booklet, and the story “Joyeux Noel” strikes just the right note — very well written and informative.

Is there any chance we could republish it? We would happily include a published plug for your website, etc.


Roy Ward
Auckland Theatre Company

Plug away.

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4 Responses to “A Talent to Abuse”

  1. Laguna Beach Trad Says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting such a marvelous portrait of Coward. A wonderful man. A friend of Ian Fleming. My favourite Coward quote is from his role as Mr. Bridger in The Italian Job (1969):

    “You are not doing your job properly. Her Majesty’s prison is there not only to keep people getting out, but to prevent people getting in. You are symptomatic
    of the lazy, unimaginative management which is driving this country
    on the rocks!”

    It’s a question of prestige. As a former prison man myself (briefly), I have to say this is a Classic.

  2. The Nouveau Edwardian Says:

    A very nice article which has inspired me to purchase the book, “The Letters of Noel Coward.” You know an article is good if it can influence you to learn more about its subject, so kudos to Robert Sacheli.

  3. Ferrando Says:

    Thanks to both of you gents for your kind words. As you can tell, I’m a real admirer of the man and his works, both of which acquire more cultural value and grace as the years progress. Sean, I can recommend Philip Hoare’s biography of Coward as a good supplement to the letters, and there a many excellent recordings such as “Cowardy Custard” and “Oh, Coward” that will introduce you to his songs. Very glad I was able to prompt some exploration on your part. (I’d bet that you’ve got your own solar topee that you can wear when listening to “Mad Dogs and Englishmen.”)

  4. Laguna Beach Trad Says:

    For Noel Coward evenings, I use a pith helmet from Lock & Co.. I find it blends nicely with my J.Press poplin 3/2 sack suit (100% cotton), a pair of Church’s Darwin loafers in brown suede, and a tie in a madras pattern, also by J.Press. Standard accessories include a Gordon’s & tonic and an Avo No. 5. These days, when I am in a particularly despondent mood, I find Coward’s There Are Bad Times Just Around The Corner especially soothing.

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