- Chrissy Hamlin
A Visit to The Noel Coward Art & Style Exhibition & The Noel Coward Archives
Updated: Nov 22, 2021
I went along to see the "Noel Coward Art & Style Exhibition" at The Guildhall Art Gallery in London, in order to do some research into "Coward's Strong Creative Women" - a theme that we shall be exploring in Season 2 of our Podcast. I was also attending the special late night cabaret show, being held at the Gallery for one night only!
There was plenty of iconic clothing and some wonderful old photographs to view. I loved the beautiful stage costumes, furniture and art work on show at the exhibition. Every item encapsulates the life and work of one of the most iconic theatrical writers and performers of the 20th Century. Noel Coward threw the most delightful parties for all his glamourous Hollywood friends. It is almost like he greets you at the entrance, with his cigarette holder and his black and white robe. Visitors leave feeling that they have had a brief, intimate and highly entertaining encounter with the legendary man, at one of his exclusive soirees.
After I had admired the many silk dressing gowns, suave smoking jackets, smart dinner suits and stylish Art Deco furniture from Coward's homes, I moved on to the wonderful stage costumes and couture creations which have been worn by Coward's leading ladies. There are also his own personal artifacts to view, and many iconic star studded photographs and paintings adorning the gallery walls. This free exhibition allows visitors to step back in time, and immerse themselves fully in the Art and Style of "The Master" and his friends.
The wonderful Late Night Cabaret Show was expertly compered by Joe Morose, from The Cafe de Paris. It was packed full of top class performers, and acts, who all paid homage to Noel Coward's music and style in their own individual way.
I was there to meet Singer & Songwriter, Kate Garner, who performed her new composition about Coward to open the evenings entertainment. She also sung a wonderful version of "Mad About the Boy". Kate will be a future guest on the Hidden Herstory podcast and is also featured in the musicians section of our VIP links page.
KATE GARNER SINGS "SOMEDAY I'LL FIND YOU" & "MAD ABOUT THE BOY"
There were also amusing Coward ditties, beautifully sung by Actor, Robert Hazle. who also happens to be the Learning Officer at the Noel Coward Archive Trust. To further entertain the audience, many of whom, like me, had dressed in Vintage outfits for the show, there was Mimi Sugar Pill. I still cannot believe what a top class cabaret show this was and how good every act was.
ROBERT HAZLE SINGS "AND HER MOTHER COMES TOO"
There were super, syncopated dance displays from The Diamond Girls and seductive Burlesque routines from the fabulous Felicity Furore. We were also treated to an exciting and unique Josephine Baker dance routine, and superb cabaret performances from Alexander Uttley, and the spellbinding Peter Groom, who bought the show to a close with his haunting homage to legendary Actress and Singer, Marlene Dietrich.
This is the best FREE exhibition in London - DON'T MISS OUT! Go before it closes on 23rd December.
As if this wasn't enough style and art for one woman in a flapper dress & peacock feather headband! A few days after attending the exhibition, I received a very kind invitation from Robert Hazle to visit the Noel Coward Archives in Farringdon this week, so I could find out more about Coward and the various women he collaborated with. I spent a wonderful afternoon viewing some of the letters and artifacts and chatting to Robert about Coward's female friends. I am pleased to announce that Robert will be a guest on the podcast next year, and we will be bringjng you podcast episodes on the lives of women like Gertrude Lawrence, Joyce Carey, Beatrice Lillie, Marlene Dietrich and Tallulah Bankhead who were all closely connected to "The Master".
VIEW OUR IMAGES FROM "THE NOEL COWARD ART & STYLE EXHIBITION"
The Noel Coward Exhibition is on at The Guildhall Art Gallery until December 23rd 2021 and you can book your FREE tickets and get more info at Noël Coward: Art & Style - City of London
Information on the Noel Coward Archives Trust can be found at Archive Trust — Noël Coward (noelcoward.com)