by Noel Coward
Directed and designed by Martin Parr
The Embassy Theatre, London
Performed January – March, 2014
Martin directed Noel Coward’s Hayfever between January and March, 2014 at The Embassy Theatre, London.
Coward’s notorious comedy features each four members of the Bliss family inviting four seperate guests for the weekend to their eccentric home. What follows is a riot of outrageous behaviour as each guest is in turn, seduced, toyed with, confused, harassed and ultimately ignored until they all leave in an exodus of bewilderment, leaving the Bliss family to carry on their bohemian ways.
Featuring music from Rhapsody in Blue by Gershwin and The Typewriter song by Leroy Anderson, the piece began as a play within a play as producers Basil Dean and Binkie Beaumont made a speech from the stage heralding Judith Bliss’ retirement from the British stage. We then witnessed her final performance in ‘Love’s Whirlwind’ before being whisked into her retirement at her eccentric house in Cookham.
At the play’s conclusion, as the guests are scuttling for the front door to escape the extraordinary Bliss family, Judith and Sorel start to instigate a charlston dance with David and Simon which grows in fervour until the entire company are charlstoning furiously to the big band sound of 1925.