Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne | Wednesday 29 March 2017 to Saturday 01 April 2017
Noel & Gertie | Review
Noel & Gertie delights the audience with a warm, nostalgic and witty musical comedy based in the 1930s on the legendary friendship and professional collaboration of actor, playwright and songwriter Noel Coward and the alluring and charismatic actress Gertrude Lawrence.
Matthew Townshend’s production company deliver this touring revival of Sheridan Morley’s (Coward’s first official biographer) hit play that originally ran in the West End for nine years and was later taken to Broadway. It is affectionately crafted from diaries and letters between this high-profile pair who epitomised an era of sophistication and elegance.
Helen Power is enthralling as Gertie, who has previously appeared in Sunset Boulevard on the West End and appeared in the BBC Drama Capturing Mary, and Ben Stock, whose credits include West End performances of Grease and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, plays Coward. Their on-stage chemistry is delightful to watch and their singing truly reflects a bygone era. Jonathan Lee, the musical director, accompanies them on stage.
Featuring twenty songs (including Mrs Worthington, Dance Little Lady, Sail Away and, of course, I’ll See You Again), sketches and snippets of scenes from Coward’s plays,( Private Lives, Blithe Spirit and Tonight at 8.30), the production has the entrancing quality of accurately portraying the relationship of this extraordinary duo who were inseparable until Gertrude’s premature death of cancer. It explores the complex bond and multifaceted love story between the pair.
The show offers an intimate and fascinating insight into Noel and Gertie’s relationship and is not to missed for a nostalgic trip down memory lane.
Reviewer : Sandra Jenkins
Noel & Gertie is playing at the Devonshire Park Theatre in Eastbourne until Saturday 1 April, not to be missed!