Five Reasons To See ... Waiting in the Wings
1. it is the 50th anniversary of this rarely-produced Noel Coward play. His 50th play, it first saw the light of day in the West End at the Duke of York's Theatre on 7 September 1960. That production starred Sybil Thorndike, Lewis Casson, Marie Lohr and Graham Payn. Noel wrote of it: "I wrote Waiting in the Wings with loving care, absolute belief in its characters and two of the best scenes I have ever written, while maintaining the basic truth that old age can be greeted with humour and lived with courage."
2. It has a stunning cast of nine actresses all over 60 years of age. "Proper" actors who have learned their trade - all of them have been in the business for over forty years. Many of them fifty years! And all glamorous! There are also many roles for younger people - mostly female!
3. The set is almost a museum piece. None of the furniture and props were created after 1960, when the play was set.
4. It has wonderful parts for 18 actors, and is a blow for Grey Pride. People complain about there being no parts for actors over 40 - what about actors over 60 or 70? This production proves that they are all still seaworthy vessels (what a terrible simile - but you know what I mean).
5. The main reason to see Waiting in the Wings is that we are all having such a great time, it is a lot of fun and I'm sure the audience will find it fun too. There is music and a little (not too lively) dancing, lots of laughs, a few little tears and a bit of drama.
Waiting in the Wings runs at the Pentameters Theatre, Hampstead from 2 to 18 September 2010 (previews from 31 August).