Redgraves Star in Coward's Song at TwilightDate: 2 August 1999
The latest NoŽl Coward revival, Song at Twilight, has been confirmed for a West End opening this autumn. The Bill Kenwright production, starring siblings Vanessa and Corin Redgrave, will open 20 October 1999 at the Gielgud Theatre as part of the year-long celebrations commemorating the centenary of the playwright's birth.
Coward's final play, Song at Twilight is the story of an ageing gay writer who has paid a price for concealing his sexuality from his prurient public. The action centres on the return of the writer's female lover of forty years ago who has evidence of his secret life. Although many have said the play was autobiographical, Coward claimed that it was inspired by the life of William Somerset Maugham. It was originally performed in 1966 as part of the triple bill Suite in Three Keys.
Corin Redgrave (who recently received acclaim for his portrayal of a vicious prison warden in the National Theatre production of Tennessee Williams' Not About Nightingales, in London and New York) plays the writer with his sister Vanessa Redgrave and his partner Kika Markham as the two women in his life.
Song at Twilight will be the third major Coward revival in London this year. It follows Private Lives, currently at the National starring Juliet Stevenson and Anton Lesser, and Declan Donnellan's Hay Fever, starring Geraldine McEwan at the Savoy. Meanwhile, Easy Virtue, starring Greta Scacchi, has just opened at the Chichester Festival and is expected to transfer to the West End in the autumn. Masterpieces, a new Coward revue devised by Christopher Luscombe and Malcolm McKee and presented by Duncan C Weldon, is also expected in the West End by the end of the year.
Born in 1899, NoŽl Coward was one of the most successful British playwrights of all time, writing more than 60 plays during his prolific career. His other comedy classics include Relative Values, Blithe Spirit and Present Laughter. He was knighted in 1970 and died in 1973. The NoŽl Coward Centenary also comprises a variety of films, books, concerts, seminars, amateur productions and other events. For further information, visit the NoŽl Coward Centenary web site.