Marvellous Party – a celebration of Noel Coward’s centenary in aid of theatre charities here and in the US. On line free. 5*****

This splendid event can be found easily – just google Marvellous Party stream theatre and that should get you access. It is free but donations are welcome. The details are in the film of the performance – Actingforothers/
After Stephen Fry tells you what it is all about the party opens with Derek Jacobi reciting a Coward poem about his time as a child actor,then includes some of his songs like A room With a View, a touching recitation of I am no good at love by Indira Varma, has Robert Lindsay delivering some his bon mots from a theatre box with exquisite relish and looking even more like a decaying mandarin than Coward ended up looking and concludes with Patricia Routledge performing the title song to the hilt – well, not quite. At the very end the Master sings The Party’s Over Now.
As a celebration it is a delight for anyone who loves the theatre – and the Coward one liners are a joy.
“I don’t know what star quality is – but I have it.”
“Television is for appearing on – not looking at.”
“The perfect martini? Fill a glass with gin and wave it generally in the direction of Italy.”

There are poems of loss, about life after death – Mrs Wentworth Brewster is recited not sung by Stephen Fry – about the horrors of the wrong people who travel, and the cruelty of gossip columnists, songs about doing what you can and a tale of a marriage gone stale delivered with exquisite pain by Emma Thompson.
Of the sayings, last one here, not the least, but one to bear in mind by the likes of me – “I so admire drama critics, they come to the theatre night after night – and know so little about it.

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