“…THE BIGGEST SMASH HIT IN NEW YORK.”
English actor, playwright, and composer best known for highly polished comedies of manners.
Typewritten Letter Signed, May 21, 1958, octavo, on stationary with the address 404 East 55th Street, New York. To “My dear Bink” (Hugh Beaumont).
“Thanks ever so for your letter.
“Yes, I am very keen about the Feydeau play and, of course, Vivien would be divine in it. Cole is at this moment in Jamaica doing a word for word translation for me as the one already done by some American gentleman is quite beneath contempt. When he has finished this, which should be in a few weeks, he will fly to me in the South of France and I shall go to work on it. I have already had some rather enjoyable ideas for it.
“In the meantime, I am writing a new play of my own which I will discuss with you when I see you. I do think, dear Bink, it would be a good idea if you flew out to stay with me for a few days as there is a great deal I want to discuss with you. I arrive in Cannes on June 3rd, and so have a nice letter waiting for me there telling me your plans and when you are likely to arrive. I presume you know the address and, in any case, Lornie has it.
“Isn’t it lovely about THE VISIT being the biggest smash hit in New York. Grandpa and Grandma are over the moon and bright as buttons, and I must say they are wonderful in it and the production is magnificent.
“Fondest love to you and J.P. — ”
Great fun this letter. The “smash hit” (“The Visit”) starred Alfred Lunt and Lyn Fontanne (“Grandpa and Grandma”) in their last stage performance. Opening on May 5, 1958, it was ecstatically received by critics and audiences in New York and London.
The “new play” was “Waiting in the Wings,” was a flop at the time but is not considered a minor gem in the Noel Coward oeuvre. The George Feydeau play, a farce called “Look after Lulu” in the English version, was translated and produced for Vivien Leigh at her request. In the end, she did not much enjoy the experience and neither did anyone else as it closed after a run of 39 performances.
Impresario Hugh Beaumont is credited with almost single-handedly keeping the theatres open in London during World War II.
Double matted in taupe in a silver gilt frame with a black and white photo of Noel Coward seated with cigarette in hand. Framed dimensions measure 18 inches wide by 14 inches high.
This item is associated with these categories in our inventory:
- Literature – English/Irish
- Motion Pictures