‘Noël & Gertie’ has verbal delights and elegance to spare

‘Noël & Gertie’ has verbal delights and elegance to spare

SHOW: Noël & Gertie
DIRECTOR: Alan Swerdlow
CAST: Jonathan Roxmouth and Taryn Sudding
Venue: Theatre On The Bay until March 9
REVIEW: PETER TROMP

‘Noël & Gertie’ exudes the kind of class and cool that one wishes would rub off on one. You want to walk out being able to outwit even the most ardent verbal sparring partner and with hipster culture being what it is, make a cigarette holder part of your vintage clothing collection.
The success of Alan Swerdlow’s production extends beyond its air of refinement, though. Musical revues can be rarefied creatures within the theatre world and if done improperly, can be amongst the most self-indulgent fare on offer. ‘Noël & Gertie’ is an accessible, audience friendly production with a current of genuine, if complexly telegraphed emotion underpinning it.

The show was devised by Sheridan Morley (Coward’s godson and biographer) in the 1980s and features play extracts, snippets from personal diaries and correspondences between Noël Coward and Gertrude Lawrence, two of the 20th century’s most mercurial stage personalities.
Swerdlow coaxes two virtually note perfect performances from Jonathan Roxmouth and Taryn Sudding.
They execute the witty verbal interplay with the kind of élan that will have most theatregoers in ecstasy.

* Book at Computicket.