Monday, April 21, 2008

Lunedi Lunacy

He was the epitome of the effete Englishman - all surface polish - silk dressing gown, cigarette holder and clipped diction. But his recently published correspondence reveals more: Noel Coward was a British spy during the Second World War. The fact that much of the world viewed him as a bon vivant playboy-entertainer allowed him access to high places and highly-placed people who often talked freely in front of him.

But primarily he was an entertainer who self-deprecatingly said his only skill was "A Talent to Amuse." But it was one of the most brilliant talents of the 20th century - song writer, playwright, stage director, screenplay writer, film director, actor, singer, dancer and raconteur. There is a good reason he was called "The Master."

This clip is taken from a live 90 minutes special he and Mary Martin did on CBS back in 1955 - he said it was the most nerve-wracking 90 minutes of his life.

21 aprile - Sant'Anselmo


evilganome said...

Thanks, Will. I do wonder if the younger generation has any appreciation for this style and wit. Coward, sophisticated as he was, was a performer that could be appreciated by all.

Doralong said...

The Master indeed- Everything Tony said ;)

sageweb said...

Oh that was great, I wonder how many times they had to practice that. Great talent

Auld Hat said...

"Englishmen detest'a siesta" Brilliant!
pft, not nearly enough raconteurs around these days. (granted, I had to look up the word before I knew that)