Coward's Star Opens on West End

News   Coward's Star Opens on West End

Star Quality, Noel Coward's story about the agony and ecstasy of staging a play, has begun previews at the Apollo, Shaftesbury Avenue.

Nearly thirty years after his death, Noel Coward continues to be a significant presence in the West End. His story Star Quality, a thinly-disguised account of working with the talented but maddening Gertrude Lawrence, has been adapted for the stage by director Christopher Luscombe.

Starring Penelope Keith - still best remembered for television series like “The Good Life” and “To the Manor Born,” but an accomplished stage actress as well - it provides an intensely theatrical evening that will particularly appeal to anyone who has ever worked with actors.

Star Quality's presence at the Apollo (first night is Oct. 29) means that there are now two Coward plays running in the West End, the other being Private Lives at the Albery.

This is a particularly appropriate combination: if Star Quality is largely based on Gertrude Lawrence's relationship with Noel Coward, then Private Lives, about a couple who find each other maddening but irresistible, also reflects the tension in their stage partnership, as well as being the play with which they are both most closely associated.

Apollo Box Office: 020 7494 5070 —by Paul Webb Theatrenow