Following his appearance as a major character in the Oscar-winning film "Gosford Park" earlier this year and a play about his theatrical heyday — The Lodger, at Jermyn Street Theatre — the Ivor Novello revival continues to gain momentum with the performance of Love From Ivor at the Royal Opera House's Linbury Studio Theatre on Aug. 24.
Novello's mother, Clara — known to theatrical London, as to Ivor, as Mam — was a classic stage mother with ambitions for her son. In her case she wanted him to compose operas at Covent Garden.
This was one of the few things he failed to do in a career that saw him praised as "the handsomest man in England," become Britain's biggest silent movie star, a West End actor, a prolific playwright and the composer of a string of musicals that packed Drury Lane (among other theatres) from Glamorous Night in 1935 to the aptly-named Gay's the Word in 1951.
The nearest he came to Covent Garden, however, was as a neighbor. He lived in a flat above the Strand Theatre in the Aldwych, a short stroll from the Royal Opera House.
Now, 51 years after his early death, aged 58, he is finally being performed at the ROH; albeit in the Linbury Studio Theatre rather than the main auditorium.