This part of the site shows memorabilia, books & programmes in members and other collections.
Noel Coward's Dressing Gown at new Centre
(Thanks to Paul Crossan of Marvellous Party and the Press Association)
A dressing gown worn by Noel Coward and stage props used by Lord Olivier and Sir Ian McKellen will go on public display at a new music library. The items are among a host of rare treasures set to be included in The Jerwood Library of the Performing Arts, a new multi-million pound facility at London's Trinity College of Music.Other items will include thousands of recordings and sheet music, relating
to everything from film scores to musicals and operas. The collection, which has been assembled through a combination of bequests and donations, will also house other assorted rarities - including film
footage of George Bernard Shaw.
College principal Gavin Henderson said the library, funded with the help of a £1.2 million donation from arts charity The Jerwood Foundation, would strive to be a unique national resource. He said: "It will bring together a number of important research collections, enabling our own music library to expand as one of the foremost teaching collections of its kind. "It is vital that the intensive and specialised preparation of musical performance should be given the scope to develop in the context of other art forms. This will be the unique factor of the Jerwood Library."
Among the showpiece theatrical items to be housed in the new library will be a newspaper read by Lord Olivier in The Three Sisters and two puppets used by Sir Ian McKellen in Dr Faustus. A crown and regal costume worn by the late Dame Anna Neagle as Queen Victoria and a cardinal's outfit in which Henry Irving played King Henry VIII will also be included. The library project forms part of an overall £15 million capital relocation scheme, which will see the college move to the site of the Old Royal Naval
College in Greenwich. Public access will be possible from September next year.
Noel Coward's Sock Suspenders
On the 1st November 1991 Glennie's Auction Rooms in Merchants Court, Norwich held an auction of theatrical memorabilia to raise funds for the new Norwich Playhouse. One of the items was a pair of sock suspenders given as a gift from Gertrude Lawrence to Noel Coward at Christmas 1947. They are made of unhallmarked gold and engraved in the style of the time.
'Fumed Oak' and 'Fallen Angels' at the Ambassadors Theatre, London starring Noel Howlett, Hermione Baddeley, Diane Lincoln and Hermione Gingold.
'High Spirits' - musical version of 'Blithe Spirit' - Alvin Theatre, 1964 starring Edward Woodward, Beatrice Lillie and Tammy Grimes with Noel Coward directing.
'Blithe Spirit' at the Duchess Theatre, London - a war-time production with Penelope Ward, Joyce Carey, Beryl Masor and Nicholas Phipps and directed by Noel Coward.
'After the Ball' at Theatre Royal, Brighton as part of a tour with Noel Coward directing and starring Peter Graves, Graham Payn and Vanessa Lee.
'Waiting in the Wings' at the Duke of York's Theatre, London, 1960 starring Sybil Thorndike, Marie Lohr and Lewis Casson and directed by Margaret Webster.
'Tonight at 8.30' at the Theatre Royal, Windsor, 1957, with three of the 'plays' - 'Still Life', 'Family Album' and 'Red Peppers'. Starring Beryl Reid, Lorraine Peters, Graham Payn, David Lawton, Everley Gregg, and Gerald Anderson and directed by Hugh Goldie.
'Blithe Spirit' at the Golders Green Hippodrome starring Irene Handl, Kay Kendall, Dennis Price and Margot Grahame. the play was produced by Joyce Carey and "Supervised by the Author".
'Bitter-Sweet' presented by Charles B. Cochran and directed by Noel coward with Peggy Wood and Robert Newton.
'Quadrille' at the Phoenix Theatre, London, 1952, starring Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne plus Joyce Carey and directed by Noel Coward
'Look After Lulu' at the Royal Court Theatre, London, 1959 directed by Tony Richardson with Vivien Leigh, Robert Stephens, Anthony Quayle, George Davine and Peter Sallis.
'Relative Values' at The Savoy Theatre, London directed by Noel Coward with Gladys Cooper, Judy Campbell, Angela Baddeley and Hugh McDermott.
'Words and Music' at the Adelphi Theatre, a Cochran production with John Mills, Doris Hare, Joyce Barbour, Ivy St. Helier, Romney Brent and produced by Noel Coward.
'South Sea Bubble' at the Lyric Theatre, London with Vivien Leigh, Ronald Lewis, Ian Hunter, Alan Webb, Joyce Carey and Arthur Macrae and directed by William Campbell.
'The Vortex' at the Criterion Theatre, London, 1952 directed by Michael Macowan with Neville Prescott, Isabel Jeans, Michael Gough, Peter Jones and Sylvia Coleridge.
'Nude with Violin' at the Shaftesbury Theatre starring John Gielgud, Joyce Carey, David Horne and Kathleen Harrison and directed by John Gielgud and Noel Coward.
'The Vortex' at the Lyric Theatre, 1952 directed by Michael McGowan starring Dirk Bogarde as Nicky, Neville Prescott, Adrienne Allen, Sylvia Coleridge and Isabel Jeans.
'Sigh No More' at the Piccadilly Theatre, London directed by Noel Coward with Cyril Ritchard and Madge Elliot (Coward thought they were not very good) and Joyce Grenfell and Graham Payn (who he thought were very good) Graham Payn sang Matelot.
'Ace of Clubs' first night programme at the Cambridge Theatre - contains newspaper cuttings about the play which won mixed reviews and some booing from the gallery - in the audience lots of friends including Ava Gardner and Frank Sinatra who had a row with a newspaper photographer.
'Peace In Our Time' at the Theatre Royal, Norwich, 1995 starring Elizabeth Carling (Goodnight Sweetheart) Liz Crowther (A Very Peculiar Practice), Hilda Braid (Citizen Smith), and Jeremy Clyde (Blott on the Landscape).
'Song at Twilight' at the Gielgud Theatre starring Venessa and Corin Redgrave, Kika Markham and directed by Sheridan Morley.
'Design for Living' at the Norwich Maddermarket theatre, Norwich by the Maddermarket Players.
'Blithe Spirit' at the Norwich Maddermarket theatre, Norwich by the Maddermarket Players.
'Present Laughter' at the Norwich Maddermarket theatre, Norwich by the Maddermarket Players.
'Brief Encounter' at the Theatre Royal, Windsor. 7th March, 2000. With Jenny Seagrove, Martyn Stanbridge, Elizabeth Power and Christopher Beeny.

 Copyright - The Noel Coward Society - May 2001