23 January 2011

shall we dance?


Gertrude Lawrence by William Acton
because I love all the William Acton portraits of the Mitford sisters, I'm always hoping to see another-this one I had not seen and since Gertie is in the little augury lexicon-it is a must. To see the Mitford portraits go to Lucindaville here & to see the beautiful portrait of Diana here

love these rehearsal photographs of Graham Payn,Gertrude Lawrence,& Noël Coward
for the 1948 revival of Tonight at 8:30

Tonight at 8:30 was a series of  ten Noel Coward short plays. Three or four plays were selected to run each performance night. The 1948 run saw Graham Payn, Noel Coward's long time partner and love, in the lead role with Gertrude opposite him. Noel Coward's last appearance with Gertrude Lawrence was as a replacement for the ailing Graham Payn in Tonight at 8.30 on tour in the States.

Ben Solowey's drawing ,1936, of Noel Coward and Gertrude Lawrence
appeared in the Herald Tribune touting the original Broadway opening of Tonight at 8:30



  1. Firstly, thank you so much for the Stylish Blogger Award; it's always nice to be thought of as such, especially since I have something of a current wardrobe issue that I may or may not write about soon

    I am fully behind this Coward kick of yours. Regrettably, I've not spent enough time with his work, nor that of Acton

    All best,


  2. This makes my Sunday household chores more fun:


    I missed it this week so this music topic makes up for it.

  3. Barima, as a stylishly dapper fellow You need to know all things Coward, really. Time to hit the floor and dance.

  4. I support this kick as well. Very Excellent choices.

  5. What a delightful start to the week!
    The Acton portrait of Gertie was new to me. He captured
    the Mitford sisters with uncanny precision. Gertie's reality
    seemed to stump him, didn't it? Perhaps G herself insisted
    on a chocolate box kind of prettiness. He painted Mrs Vreeland
    of course, but that portrait is all about the pose.
    Thanks too for the shots of NC and Co. Have just finished reading
    Sondheim's new book where he takes Noel Coward (as a lyricist)
    to task in rather a brutal way. And poor NC is no longer around
    to defend himself~which he'd have done brilliantly no doubt.

  6. Anons Both. Happy to oblige and thank you for the stop over. Anything to move cleaning up along is a winner for me. pgt

    Toby. Wonderful! As to GL and Acton, I agree-it does not seem to be as full as SHE was, undoubtedly the only hint is that raised brow. I need to return to the source and see if dates were given as to when it was painted. I don't like the sound of Sondheim. I would match the wits of NC to his any day and find SS wanting. Thank you for gracing the pages today Gaye

  7. Dear LA, What a fun posting. Noel Coward is a firm favourite of mine and his plays are, fortunately, always to be found playing in the shires of England to packed houses. Long may this continue!

  8. Why is there no William Acton monograph? Seems like a natural.

  9. My husband and I saw the entire revival of "Tonight at 8:30" in 2009 at the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-lake, Ontario. Well-staged, very enjoyable. Sheila in Washington state

  10. Dear Gaye, the Gertrude portrait is beautiful. I love William Acton's paintings. I also love Noel Coward and the Mitfords as you know. Great post xx

  11. Edith, EFT, Christina- thanks
    Anon, Sheila- what's not to love and that sounds wonderful.
    Lucinda- I have thought exactly the same. I am thinking there must be many in still private hands. This one is pretty, though TW's observation is very good-not quite the Gertrude I imagined.



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