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Coward Plays: v.1: Hay Fever, The Vortex, Fallen Angels, Easy Virtue

Coward Plays: v.1: Hay Fever, The Vortex, Fallen Angels, Easy Virtue

by Noel Coward

This first volume in the Coward Collection contains four plays written within a two year period when Coward and the century were still in their 20s. The volume is introduced by Sheridan Morley, Coward's first biographer. Hay Fever, a comedy of bad manners, concerns a weekend with friends of the Bliss family, who have all been invited independently for a weekend at their country house near Maidenhead. The Vortex was a controversial drama in its time, introducing drug-addiction onto the stage at a time when alcoholism was barely mentioned. Fallen Angels, which is written for two star actresses was described as 'degenerate', 'vile', 'obscene', 'shocking' - the second half of the play is entirely taken up with an alcoholic duologue between the two women. Easy Virtue is an elegant, laconic tribute to a lost world of drawing-room dramas, no other writer went more directly to the jugular of that moralistic, tight-lipped but fundamentally hypocritical 20s society. "He is simply a phenomenon, and one that is unlikely to occur ever again in theatre history" Terence Rattigan

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