Backstage Blog

Top 10 REASONS TO SEE THE NOEL COWARD REP

HAY FEVER

1. It is quintessential Noël Coward. Known for his wit and flamboyance, Hay Fever is everything one expects when they go to see a Noël Coward piece, plus the extra charm only Cygnet can provide.

Noël Coward

Noël Coward

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. It is a master class in acting technique. In his introduction to the book Play Parade, Coward wrote, “…Hay Fever is far and away one of the most difficult plays to perform I have ever encountered. To begin with, it has no plot at all, and remarkably little action. Its general effectiveness therefore depends upon expert technique from each and every member of the cast.” Call us biased, but we think our cast makes a darn good team, and they definitely pulled it off.

The Cast of Hay Fever

The Cast of Hay Fever

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Clara. Never before have you seen a housemaid quite like Clara. We won’t say much more at the risk of giving anything away, but let’s just say she’s no Jeeves.

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Clara, played by Rhona Gold

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. There is never a dull moment. With the constant entrances and exits, the sharp wit, jabbing humor and stealthy insults flying everywhere, there’s plenty to keep your wandering mind engaged.

Hay Fever

Hay Fever

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. The costumes are to die for. In a show where each character is constantly trying to one-up everyone else in the room, the costume designer typically has their work cut out for them. But we’re proud to say our fabulous costume designer, Jacinda Johnston-Fischer, nailed it.

Sorel Bliss, played by Rachael VanWormer

Sorel Bliss, played by Rachael VanWormer

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE VORTEX

1. It is the play that truly launched Noël Coward into superstardom. This was the play that made his name and firmly established him as both a dramatist and an actor, and he’d been at pains to ensure the play included “a whacking good part” for himself.

Coward in The Vortex (1925)

Coward in The Vortex (1925)

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Despite being the piece to launch Coward to celebrity status, The Vortex is rarely performed. Due to his reputation and flare for comedies, the rest of his extensive repertoire is seldom produced and you’ll be hard pressed to come by another production of this dark drama anytime soon.

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The Vortex

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. The Vortex might be a period piece, but it still has the capacity to shock, due in no small part to Coward’s gift for dramatic construction. It also solidified his reputation as an author daring enough to touch on hitherto taboo subjects such as drugs and an inter-generational love affair involving an older woman and a younger man.

Florence Lancaster and her younger lover, Tom Veryan

Florence Lancaster and her younger lover, Tom Veryan

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Our production fittingly transplants the action of The Vortex to the sixties, an era with at least as much murkiness lurking beneath its frivolity as the twenties. So in true Cygnet fashion, you’ll get to see a classic piece with a refreshingly unique interpretation.

 

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The Vortex

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Did we mention the costumes? It may be a different time period, but this show will still have you drooling over the outfits you see on stage.

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Pawnie, played by James Saba