January 23, 2015

"Squillions of kisses"

While I had planned to adapt a number of Noel Coward's amazing, amusing letters into a play for CowardFest, a couple problems popped up to nip me in the bud. Sad to not be participating, but I'm happy to go watch some fine work from local companies.

Do take in as much of the festival as you can and - in lieu of a full play - here are just a few of the Grand Old Man's wonderful words below.

Dear Darling old Mother,
Thank you very much for your letter. I could not send a card and this was scarcely odd because there were no cards to send… I have been out in the yaught this afternoon it was very rough and I was fearfly sea sick and Uncle Harry took me ashore and I was going to wait on the beach for TWO HOURS but a very nice lady asked me to go to tea with her I went and had a huge tea this is the menu 3 seed buns 2 peacies of cake 2 peacies of Bread and jam 3 biscuits 2 cups of tea when I thank her she began to preach and said we were all put into the world to do kind things (amen). I am afraid she did not impress me much but I wished her somewhere…
I hope you are not miserable.
It makes me miserable to think you are.

I have got to go to bed bed now so goodbye from your ever loving sun Noel. Squillions of kiss to all love to Eric the dogs are so nice down here. I had three little boys to tea yesterday each about the size of a flea. I had to amuse them and didn’t enjoy it much.

The play is going very well, I come back to town on Sunday. I have been very ill the last few days, it started off with a sore throat and me losing my voice. Manchester always affects me like this, it is a beastly hole.
Aren’t the air raids awful, please wire me if they go anywhere near our delectable residence.
Farewell for now, my lamb
Ever your ownest

The play, dear, has all the earmarks of being a failure. Jack and I sat grandly in a box on the First Night and watched it falling flatter and flatter. And I must admit… we got bad giggles! They were all expecting something very dirty indeed after the English Censor banning it and they were bitterly disappointed.
We suffered a little during the first act but gave up suffering after that and rather enjoyed it. I find on close reflection that I am as unmoved by failure as I am by success, which is a great comfort. I like writing the plays anyhow and if people don’t like them that’s their loss.
Good by darling Snig. I’ll cable every week. Your photograph is a great success in a small leather frame.
Your loving Snoop.

The moment I switched out the lights, Gertie appeared in a white Molyneux dress on a terrace in the South of France and refused to go again until four a.m. by which time Private Lives, title and all, had constructed itself.

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