Noël Coward

Noël Pierce Coward was born on December 19, 1899, and received his first name because Christmas was just days away. An astounding polymath - dramatist, actor, writer, composer, lyricist, painter and wit - he was defined by his Englishness as much as he defined it. Coward was on stage by the age of six, and writing his first drama ten years later. He wrote, directed and starred in The Vortex (1924), a searing look at sexual vanity and drug abuse among the upper classes. Coward achieved enduring success as a playwright, publishing more than 50 plays from his teens onwards. fotoMany of his works, such as Hay Fever (1925), The Rat Trap (1926), Private Lives (1930) and Blithe Spirit (1941), have remained in the regular theatre repertoire. In addition he was well known for several plays adapted for film , such as Cavalcade (1933) directed by Frank Lloyd and Brief Encounter (1946) directed by David Lean. He composed hundreds of songs, and in the 1950s he achieved fresh success as a cabaret performer, performing his own songs. His plays and songs achieved new popularity in the 1960s and 1970s, and his work and style continue to influence popular culture.

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