Quite a number of events still do not have a definite date. A third copy of Angela Conner's statue of Coward will be sited at Firefly, his home in Jamaica, where he is buried. The unveiling will probably be in December. There will be further broadcasts of plays from Tonight at 8.30 later in the year. In New York there will be a series of events celebrating Coward organised by the Lincoln Center Library. Details of these have yet to be announced. It is likely that the Arena television programmes shown originally in 1998 will be repeated in the UK. A Paris production of Private Lives is planned. There is also a new compilation of Coward words and music under the title Masterpieces due to be staged in the West End. Major new productions of Fallen Angels, Design For Living and Cavalcade are also being discussed.
The year has seen a great deal of publishing activity. Methuen has issued The Coward Collection, a uniform edition of the works which includes seven volumes of plays (including previously unpublished work such as Semi Monde) a combined volume of Coward's autobiographical work, his Collected Verse, Collected Short Stories and Pomp and Circumstance. There is also a new volume of Collected Revue Sketches and Parodies. They also mark the Centenary by producing a lavishly illustrated book, exhaustively researched by Barry Day, which contains the Complete Lyrics including some two hundred items not published previously.
Oberon Books are publishing a long awaited up-dated version of Mander and Mitchinson's Theatrical Companion to Noel Coward edited by Barry Day and Sheridan Morley together with new editions of Sheridan Morley's books about Coward and Gertrude Lawrence, A Talent To Amuse and A Star Danced. Orion have republished the Coward Diaries as a Phoenix Giant paperback and a new book is coming from Island Life containing an illustrated account of his house Firefly.
There are also a remarkable number of Coward plays which have been optioned for new films to be made. Merlin Films plan to start shooting Hay Fever in May 1999, with Joanna Lumley in the lead. Easy Virtue will be produced by J Y Abrams. Blithe Spirit is in development with British Lion and Universal Pictures as a major Hollywood movie.
Quadrille, the play made famous by Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne is to be a co-production between Monogram, Skyline and Vanguard. They are currently casting for a summer shoot. Relative Values, last seen at the Savoy Theatre will be directed by Eric Style for Midsummer Films starting in April or May. Coward's early plays I'll Leave It To You and The Young Idea are also in development for films with J Y Abrams.
Birmingham University, which will eventually become the repository of the Coward Archive, will hold an academic Conference on the Work of NoŽl Coward on 1 and 2 November 1999.
It is clear that this is be the largest, most diverse celebration of the work of a single man ever seen in the British Isles.
The drawing of NoŽl Coward that appears on this site is the official symbol
of the NoŽl Coward Centenary. It was designed by the Identica Partnership
(Michael Peters) and donated to the Coward Estate which would like to express
its gratitude for the gesture.