Westacre show remembers Noel Coward and Cole Porter

David Connor (left) and Steve Rimmer right in rehearsal at Westacre Theatre for next week's Cole Porter and Noel Coward show
David Connor (left) and Steve Rimmer right in rehearsal at Westacre Theatre for next week's Cole Porter and Noel Coward show

Westacre Theatre Company’s choice of productions is amazingly wide-ranging – no chance of being bored as the regular audience at the theatre’s charmingly scenic venue will testify.

Neatly sandwiched between four of Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads are performances of a very different nature – songs, scenes and sketches by “The Master” Noel Coward and “The Maestro” Cole Porter all across the last weekend in February.

Cole Porter pictured in 1934

Cole Porter pictured in 1934

Coward once asked: “Why am I always expected to wear a dressing gown and smoke cigarettes in a long holder?”

Sir Noel Pierce Coward (1899 to 1973) was an English playwright, composer, director, actor and singer.

Well-known for his repartee, flamboyance and personal style, he penned over 50 plays including Hay Fever, Private Lives and Blithe Spirit.

The wit and wisdom of Coward’s lyrics is as lively and contemporary now as when they were originally written. Recent releases are by Elton John, Paul McCartney, Pet Shop Boys, Sting and Robbie Williams.

Noel Coward

Noel Coward

Meanwhile Cole Porter (1891 to 1964) is synonymous with both the American songbook and the Broadway musical tradition (Anything Goes and Kiss Me Kate). A gifted composer, songwriter and lyricist, he handled both music and lyrics together with superb ease creating over 800 witty songs – Night and Day, I’ve Got You Under My Skin, Let’s Do It Let’s Fall In Love, and I Get A Kick Out of You, to name just a few.

The lyrics were always literate, sophisticated, yet charming, suggestive and even naughty.

Numerous famous artists have recorded Porter’s songs and scores have released entire albums of his compositions – Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, and Oscar Peterson.

The 1990 charity CD for AIDS featured 20 Cole Porter favourites performed by the likes of Annie Lennox and U2.

Drawing largely on local talent but importing some special musical expertise from London, Westacre Theatre is giving these two great showmen their best shot.

This never-to-be-repeated revue opens at 7.30pm on Saturday, February 27, and continues on Sunday 28th at 2pm and 7pm. Pre-show suppers are on offer too but numbers are limited and must be pre-booked.

Visit www.westacretheatre.com or call 01760 755800 for more information.