PERFORMANCES
Coward made his first public appearances in school and church concerts. On January 27th 1911 he had his first paid role as Prince Mussel in 'The Goldfish' at the Little Theatre. He says that the best acting roles he wrote for himself and included Nicky Lancaster in 'The Vortex', Elyot Chase in 'Private Lives', Leo in 'Design for Living', and Gary Essendine in 'Present Laughter'.
A Country Girl  July 23rd 1907.  School or Public Hall. First performance in an end of term concert. Either at St. Margaret's School, Sutton or The Public Hall, Sutton. Sang 'Coo' from 'A Country Girl' and then accompanied himself on the piano playing and singing.
The Goldfish  Jan. 27th 1911.  Little Theatre. Prince Mussel. Response by Violet Coward - Noel's mother - to a Daily Mirror interview with Miss Lila Field and her plans for a Children's Theatre. This led to a successful audition.
The Great Name  Sep.7th 1911.  Prince of  Wales. Coward played Cannard, a page boy, in the last act of this production led by his early mentor, Charles Hawtrey who was producer, director and lead. Coward was paid £2 per week.
Where the Rainbow Ends  Dec. 21st 1911.  Savoy Theatre. Another Hawtrey directed play with Coward as William.
The Daisy Chain  Feb. 2nd 1912.  Savoy Theatre. A one act play by Dot Temple (11 years old). Directed by Noel Coward (12 years old).
An Autumn Idyll  Jun. 25th 1912.  Savoy Theatre. A ballet produced and danced by Ruby Ginner with Chopin's music. Times review says:"Miss Joan Carroll and Mr. Noel Coward as the Toadstool and the Mushroom headed delightfully a little troupe of various small and engaging funghi."
A Little Fowl Play  Oct. 1912.  London Coliseum. A sketch starring Charles Hawtrey with Coward playing 'The Boy'. who could only perform matinees due to age restrictions in licensing laws.
Where the Rainbow Ends  Dec.1912.  Garrick Theatre. Rerun of the original with most of the same cast and Coward still playing William.
Hannele  Mar. 1913. Liverpool &  Manchester. This was the first time that Coward and Gertrude Lawrence played together professionally. Coward played an angel in a dream sequence and a real child. Directed by Basil Dean (the first of many!)
War in the Air  Jun 23rd 1913.  London Palladium. A 'Dramatic Spectacle' with Coward as junior aviator 'Tommy'. This sketch followed a first half variety bill.
Never Say Die  Sep.1913. Apollo Theatre. Understudied Reggie Sheffield as Buster but never appeared.
Peter Pan  Dec.1913. Duke of York's. Barrie's famous play with Coward playing 'Slightly'. Cowards acting in this role he was commended by the London Observer and was a role he repeated. (see below)
Peter Pan  Feb.1914. Touring. As Slightly
Peter Pan  Jan.1915. Duke of York's. As Slightly
Where the Rainbow Ends  Dec.1915. Garrick Theatre. As Coward had outgrown his earlier role he played the Slacker, a cross between a man and a dragon.
Charley's Aunt  Feb.1916. Touring. Often seen, oft repeated farce with Coward in the lead role of Charles (Charley) Wykeham. Esmé Wynne also starred.
The Light Blues  Sep. 14 1916. Shaftesbury  Theatre. Coward played in the minor role of Basil Pyecroft, but understudied the lead (Jack Hulbert), in this musical comedy.
Cabaret Debut at the Elyseé  Restaurant  (later the Café de  Paris)  Oct 1916. Elyseé Restaurant. Coward partnered Eileen Denis and danced during dinner and supper.
The Happy Family  Dec.18 1916. Prince of  Wales. Theatre Coward played a Sandhurst cadet in this Christmas play. He danced and sang a military song 'Sentry Go'.
Wild Heather  Aug 17 1917. Gaiety Theatre. Coward played Leicester Boyd in this play by Dorothy Brandon.
Ida Collaborates  Aug 20 1917. Theatre Royal. Aldershot A light comedy written with Esmé Wynne and the first with Coward's name as author to reach the stage. Starred Esmé Wynne as Ida.
The Saving Grace  Oct 10 1917. Garrick Theatre. Coward played Ripley Guildford in his first leading role. Started to become a recognised theatre figure.
Woman and Whisky  1918. On tour. Written by Coward and Esmé Wynne.
Scandal  Dec 7 1918.  Strand Theatre. Coward played Courtney Borner.
The Knight of the Burning  Pestle  Aug 1919 and Nov 24 1920. Birmingham Rep. and at the Kingsway Theatre. Coward as Ralph in an Elizabethan comedy. Coward had mumps and did not play in this second run.
I'll Leave It To You  Jul 21 1920. New Theatre. First West End Play written by and starring Coward (as Bobbie). Uncle leaves will to 'bad lot' with provisos - beneficiaries try to turn over new leaves - all improve by the process - no money after all - lessons learnt.
Polly With a Past  Mar 2 1921. St. James Theatre. Coward played Clay Collins in this American farce.
The Co-Optimists May 1922. Palace Theatre, London. Coward played Clay Collins in this American farce produced and directed by Gilbert Miller.
The Young Idea 1 Feb 1923. Savoy Theatre, London. Coward played Sholto in a siblings attempt to reunte their divorced parents - with success in Italy!
London Calling!  4 Sep 1923. The Duke of York's Theatre, London. An André Charlot Revue which saw Coward and Gertrude Lawrence working together professionally as adults for the first time. Parisian Pierrot et al ...
The Vortex UK -16 Dec 1924 US - 16 Sep 1925. Everyman then Royalty Theatres, London. Henry Miller Theatre, NY Coward's finest hour on the London Theatre stage? It made his name as the drug using son of a mother wrenched apart by her young lovers.
Modern Drama From the English Point of View  4 Nov 1925. Biltmore Hotel. Modern drama discussion at ladies club lunch with Basil Dean, Lilian Braitwaite, Ashley Dukes & Marc Connolly.
The Constant Nymph  14 Sep 1926.  New Theatre, London. Coward played Lewis Dodd in the play which was the emotional final straw for him - leading to a nervous breakdown. He played for three weeks before being replaced by John Gielgud.
The Second Man 24 Jan 1928. Playhouse Theatre, London. Play by S.N.Behrman and directed by Basil Dean with Coward playing Clark Storey.
This Year of Grace  7 Nov 1928. Selwyn Theatre, New York. Coward appeared only in the New York production following the London production in February that year.
Private Lives 24 Sep 1930. Phoenix Theatre, London. 27 Jan 1931. Times Square Theatre, New York (amended cast.) It's all been said! - possibly the ultimate Coward piece and a moment of triumph in terms of his professional partnership with Gertrude Lawrence. Sheridan Morley says that it has been on stage somewhere in the world since this date.
Some Other Private Lives Dec 1930. Hippodrome, London. A parody of the above performed by the same cast with a lower caste.
Design for Living 24 Jan 1933, Ethel Barrymore Theatre, New York, Gilda, Leo and Otto are the characters in this 'menage a trois' vehicle for Lynn Fontanne, Noel Coward & Alfred Lunt.
Actor's Fund Benefit 29 Jan 1933. Imperial Theatre, New York. Coward appeared with other artists at this benefit whilst playing in 'Design for Living.'
Stage Relief Fund 23 March 1933  Hotel Biltmore Supper Room Coward appeared with the Lunts and others in this benefit.
Conversation Piece 16 Feb 1934. His Majesty's Theatre, London. 10 Oct 1934. 44th St. Theatre, New York. Coward's slightly uncomfortable appearance as the Duc de Chaucigny that he gave up to the principal, Yvonne Printemps' husband. Largely a vehicle for her distinctive voice. Hit song 'I'll Follow My Secret Heart'
Post Depression Gaieties 24 Feb 1935. New Amsterdam Theatre, New York. Coward appeared inm a sketch with Alexander Wollcott, Ben Hecht, Charles MacAurthur and Helen Hayes.
Personal Appearance  18 Aug 1935. Cinema in Ashford, Kent. Coward appeared with Jeanne de Casalis in this benefit for the Actor's Orphanage and Ashford Hospital. Vivien Leigh, Douglas Fairbanks and Joyce Barbour also appeared.
Tonight at 8.30  9 Jan 1936.  Phoenix Theatre, London. 24 Nov 1936. National Theatre, New York. A unique idea of putting on 10 one-act plays over three nights. We Were Dancing. The Astonished Heart, Red Peppers, Hands Across the Sea, Fumed Oak, Shadow Play, Family Album, Ways and Means, Still Life, Star Chamber.
Benefit for Flood Victims 11 Feb 1937. Radio City Music Hall. Coward appeared with a host of stars includijng Gertrude Lawrence. The climax was Coward and others joining the Cab Calloway Band for 'Minnie the Moocher.'
Benefit for Negro Actor's Guild 11 Dec 1938. 46th Street Theatre, New York. Coward and Beatrice Lillie amongst those appearing.
Singing Tours  1940-43  Middle East, Australia and New Zealand. Entertaining the troops. Described in 'Middle East Diary' and 'Future Indefinite.'
London Wings Club and Nuffield Centre  Oct 1941. London Wings Club and Nuffield Centre Appearance.
Blithe Spirit  Sep 1942. British 25 Week Tour. Coward in the Charles Condomine role with Joyce Carey and Judy Campbell.
Present Laughter  29 April 1943. Haymarket Theatre, London. Coward played Gary Essendine in this role that laughs at himself and his ilk as a famous and very theatrical actor.
This Happy Breed  20 April 1943. Haymarket Theatre, London. War time drama made into a successful film with Coward playing the male lead, Frank Gibbons.
Singing Tours  1944 Trinidad, South Africa, India and Ceylon. Another tour to entertain troops and others.
ENSA Tour  Nov 1944. Paris, Versailles and Brussels. Tour with Bobby Howes, Nervo and Nox, Frances Day and Josephine Baker.
Stage Door Canteen 1944.  London. Coward sang his songs.
Stage Door Canteen 1945.  Paris. Coward appeared with Marlene Dietrich and Maurice Chevalier.
Present Laughter  16 April 1947. Haymarket Theatre, London. Revival of this play with some cast changes but still starring Coward.
Joyeux Chagrins (Present Laughter) 17 Nov 1948. Theatre Edouard VII, Paris. Coward appeared in the Garry Essendine part renamed Max Aramont.
Actor's Orphanage Garden Party 19 June 1951. Coward made an appearance for this charity of which he was the president for many years.
Concert of His Songs Oct 1951. Theatre Royal, Brighton. Try out for Coward's cabaret act at the Café de Paris, London.
Cabaret at the Café de Paris  29 Oct 1951. Café de Paris, London. Norman Hackforth accompanied in this first try-out in Coward's new cabaret career that led to his 'orchestrated' performance in Las Vegas.
Cabaret at the Café de Paris  13 Jan 1952. Café de Paris, London. A double act Coward with Mary Martin. Special benefit for the Actor's Orphanage.
Cabaret at the Café de Paris 16 June 1952. Café de Paris, London Return engagement of Coward's cabaret act. Star-studded audience on the first night.
Cabaret at the Café de Paris  9 Nov 1952. Café de Paris, London. Another benefit with Mary Martin for the Actor's Orphanage.
The Apple Cart  May 1953. Haymarket Theatre. Bernard Shaw's play in which he starred with Margaret Leighton. This was the last time Coward appeared in a play that was not his own.
Cabaret at the Café de Paris May - 20 June 1953. Café de Paris, London. Coward played his cabaret act whilst appearing in The Apple Cart.
Stars at Midnight 28 May 1953. London Palladium. Special benefit for the Actor's Orphanage.
Coronation Gala 3 June 1953. Savoy Hotel, London. Coward performed his cabaret act two more times for the Gala.
Night of a Hundred Stars  24 July 1954. London Palladium. Actor's Orphanage benefit Gala.
Cabaret at the Café de Paris  24 Oct 1954. Café de Paris, London. Start of a four week run of his new cabaret act.
Royal Command Performance  1 Nov 1954. London Palladium. Coward sang three songs and 'was the hit of the evening.'
Cabaret at Wilbur Clarke's Desert Inn, Las Vegas.  7 June 1955. Wilbur Clarke's Desert Inn, Las Vegas. Peter Matz's arrangements & piano accompaniments and Coward's abilities do them both great credit.
Carnival of the Animals 7 April 1956. Carnegie Hall. Recited the Ogden Nash verses.
Nude With Violin  14 Nov 1957. Belasco Theatre, New York. Coward played Sebastien - the painter.
Present Laughter  31 Jan 1958.  Belasco Theatre, New York. Revival of the comedy with Coward again in the lead as Gary Essendine
Present Laughter & Nude With Violin  11 Feb 1958. Curran Theatre, San Francisco. Four week run of alternating productions with Coward in starring role(s).
Night of a Hundred Stars July 1958. London Palladium. Coward did a medley of his hits!
Gallery First-Nighter's Dinner in Honour of Noel Coward 23 May 1962. Criterion Restaurant, London. Coward was given a tribute dinner followed by a cabaret with Coward singing some of his songs accompanied by Peter Greenaway.
Charity Gala  9 Nov 1963. Washington DC. Coward performed songs from his cabaret act.
Suite in Three Keys  14 April 1966. Queen's Theatre, London. Three plays by Coward in which he played: George Hilgay (Shadows of the Evening), Verner Conklin (Come Into the Garden Maud) and Hugo Latymer (Song at Twilight.)
John Player Lecture - Noel Coward 14 Dec 1969. 4.00 pm  National Film Theatre, London. Personal appearance of Coward. He talked about his career in cinema and answered questions from the audience.
A Talent to Amuse  16 Dec 1969. Phoenix Theatre, London. Coward attended this seventieth birthday tribute given by countless stars and spoke in thanks at the end, " Thank you for making this obviously the most moving theatrical moment of my life."
Gala Performance of Oh Coward!  14 Jan 1973. The New Theatre, New York. Coward attended his last performance. He died on March 26th at Firefly in Jamaica.

 Copyright - The Noel Coward Society - May 2001