Friday, January 25, 2008


What do you get when you mix the wittiest playwright of the 20th century with some of Britain's finest actors and actresses? You get 20 hours of delicious theater: plays, short stories and radio plays by Noel Coward. The Noel Coward Collection contains seven discs, featuring Academy Award winners Judi Dench, Paul Scofield, Deborah Kerr, and Tom Courtenay. Fans of BBC and Masterpiece Theater will also recognize Nigel Havers, Ian Richardson, Ian Holm, Penelope Keith, Patricia Hodge, Judy Parfitt, and Geraldine McEwan. In many of the plays you can expect witty repartee and plots that border on farcical, but there are also some plays in this collection where there is a underlying layer of pathos. The pieces span a few decades, so the production values vary greatly. Remember also that the BBC is not used to lavishing money on their sets. But hey, this isn't a George Lucas film. We're not here for flashy special effects and noisy explosions. This is all about well-written dialogue and brilliant acting. So pop a disc in your DVD player, pour yourself a G & T, and slip away into high society.

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