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Ten reasons why we love Sir Noël Coward

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By Lee-Anne Gough

A major new production of Noël Coward's best loved and multi award-winning comedy, Private Lives graces our stage from Mon 15 - Sat 20 February. To celebrate one of the greatest plays of all time, we decided to explore the private life of legendary playwright Sir Noël Coward with ten reasons why we think he was a legend!

1. Noël Peirce Coward was born in Teddington, just round the corner from Richmond! To honour this famous resident there is a statue of him at the local library and there is a blue plaque on the house where he lived.

2. He wrote Private Lives in only four days while he was in Asia. What a genius!

Richard Teverson, Laura Rogers, Tom Chambers and Charlotte Ritchie.

'I think very few people are normal really, deep down in their private lives' Sir Noël Coward

3. His iconic staccato style voice developed from childhood, his Mother was deaf so he acquired this style of speech to help her understand what he was saying.

4. Had the Germans conquered Britain in World War Two, he was going to be arrested as he was included in The Black Book alongside other notable figures such as Sylvia Pankhurst, H.G. Wells and Virginia Woolf.

5. Comedian Julian Clary now owns the house in Kent that Sir Noël Coward lived in.

Laura Rogers and Tom Chambers

6. He was a witness at Mr James Bond himself, Ian Fleming's wedding to his wife Ann in Jamaica.

7. He cast himself as the lovable and charming character Elyot in the original production of Private Lives alongside some little known actor called Laurence Olivier as Victor.

8. The Albery Theatre in London was renamed the Noël Coward theatre in his honour in 2006. The Theatre has played host to notable productions such as Avenue Q, Much Ado about Nothing and Shakespeare in Love.

'You ask my advice about acting? Speak clearly, don't bump into the furniture
and if you must have motivation, think of your pay packet on Friday'
- Sir Noël Coward

9. He became known for the 'Coward Image' - a silk dressing gown and cigarette holder. This became so recognisable that a poster advertising a revival of Private Lives in 1968 used a caricature of Coward rather than an image of the stars of the show!

10. He was knighted in 1969 and was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

Fall in love with Sir Noël Coward yourself by enjoying Private Lives next month! Starring Olivier Award nominated television and stage star Tom Chambers (Top Hat the musical and Strictly Come Dancing winner), Laura Rogers (Tipping the Velvet), Charlotte Ritchie (Call the Midwife and Fresh Meat) and Richard Teverson (Downton Abbey), don't miss this glittering production of Private Lives for a truly elegant evening of wit and glamour.