Cover image for The Mermaid's 'Cowardy custard' : an entertainment
The Mermaid's 'Cowardy custard' : an entertainment
Frow, Gerald.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York ; London : French, [1977]
Physical Description:
96 pages : 1 plan ; 22 cm.
General Note:
Six men, 6 women.
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
ML50.Z99 M47 1977 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Featuring the words and music of Noel Coward. Devised by Gerald Frow, Alan Strachan and Wendy Toye.

Chracters: 6 male, 6 female

Revue style setting.

An immense success in London. An imaginative and innovative presentation of Noel Coward's words, music, sketches, which also shows us something of the man himself. Cowardy Custard contains not only those classic medleys and duets, but also previously unpublished material, snippets of plays and dialogues, material from his autobiographies as background and even a few of his little known poems. The result is a kaleidoscopic glimpse of the Coward achievement.

"More densely packed with entertainment than any that has hit town for a long while."-- Daily Mail , London.

"A whole ravishing feast ... never ceases to amaze."-- Evening Standard , London.

Author Notes

In 1964, when Hay Fever (1925) was placed in the repertory of the newly organized National Theatre, Noel Coward professed to be grateful: "Bless you for admitting that I'm a classic." A week-long series of Coward played on BBC television in 1969; there have been major revivals in London and New York; plays long out of print have been republished in popular collections. At the start of the 1960s, though, Coward's reputation had been at an ebb, as he skirmished with the angry new drama. Coward had enjoyed no big success since Blithe Spirit of 1941.

There have been attempts to assimilate the rehabilitated Coward to contemporary drama. Coward himself profited from the new freedom when, in 1965, his Song at Twilight discussed homosexuality, a subject that he had evaded throughout his career.

A juvenile prodigy, Coward was by turns actor, director, composer, lyricist, autobiographer, and author of nearly 60 theater pieces. He even wrote screenplays, notably for In Which We Serve (1942) and Brief Encounter (1946). Although he specialized in light comedy, the so-called comedy of manners, he worked in many forms including patriotic spectacle, revue, musical, farce, even the problem play. Hay Fever, Blithe Spirit, and Private Lives (1930) have proved to be the most durable of his comedies, along with nine short plays presented as Tonight at 8:30. In each, characters demonstrate the combination of perpetual role playing, cool hedonism, and energizing self-absorption.

(Bowker Author Biography)