Jermyn Street Theatre    
presents

The REACTION Season

Nine one-act plays by Noel Coward

Bedroom Farces (We Were Dancing, Ways and Means, Shadow Play)

Secret Hearts (Star Chamber, Red Peppers, Still Life)

Nuclear Families (Family Album, Hands Across the Sea, The Astonished Heart)

Noel Coward’s dazzling versatility shines across nine one-act plays. From the railway station of Still Life to the Pacific island of We Were Dancing; from the music-hall of Red Peppers to the ache of The Astonished Heart, this is the first complete London revival since 1936.

We have arranged the nine plays into three trios, called Nuclear Families, Bedroom Farces, and Secret Hearts. Each trio stands alone, but we hope you see all three!

The plays are directed by our Artistic Director, Tom Littler.

★★★★ “A set of gems in a small black box” Financial Times

★★★★ “An extraordinary feat of teamwork Independent

 ★★★★ “For his loving and meticulous revival, director Tom Littler shares the leading roles among the nine strong company, giving them all a chance to shine Sunday Express

 ★★★★★ “Noel Coward at his finest LondonTheatre1

 ★★★★★ “Ravishing, a colossal success Broadway World

 ★★★★★ “Flawless acting from an exceptional ensembleActDrop

 ★★★★ “Jermyn Street Theatre feels like a natural homeMusical Theatre Review

Its a production of silken elegance and intelligence. Acted with zest and charm.
By the end you feel gorged on a lavish selection of amuse-bouches, moved and amused The Times

Succeeds on every level a landmark achievement Theatre World Magazine

See one, or even better see all three; its tough to recommend a favourite Once a Week Theatre

Bedroom Farces

“I knew marrying you was a mistake seven years ago – but I never realised the thoroughness of the mistake until now.”

Affairs of the heart, the bed, and the chequebook are wittily and touchingly captured in this trio of plays, containing some of Coward’s most popular music.

 We Were Dancing, a comedy featuring Coward’s song of the same title, is set on an idyllic island, where the guests of a country club are enmeshed a complex web of extra-marital affairs.

 Ways and Means is a comedy about the bohemian Stella and Toby, who go from villa to villa on the Côte d’Azur. But when they cannot pay their gambling debts, they plan to make an easy fortune…

 Shadow Play is a ‘musical fantasy’. Peppered with songs and dances including ‘Play, Orchestra, Play’, it is a moving portrait of a marriage under strain.

Running time approx 2 hours 25 minutes, including an interval.

Secret Hearts

“I know that this is the beginning of the end – not the end of my love for you – but the end of our being together.”

 Secret dreams, unfulfilled ambitions and impossible desires: this trio of two plays and one musical comedy has everything from outrageous farce to heartbreaking romance.

Star Chamber is a comedy about a charity committee meeting, set in a theatre and peopled by outrageous characters.

Red Peppers is a riotous tribute to music-hall. George and Lily Pepper battle with tiny dressing rooms, a grumbling audience, and a drunken pianist. 

Still Life was later immortalised as Brief Encounter. In a station refreshment room, Laura meets Alec.

Running time around 2 hours 20 minutes, including an interval.

Nuclear Families

“You’d better come and dine tonight – I’m on a diet, so there’s only spinach.”

The glitter of middle-class life is exposed as the thinnest of façades in these three plays, ranging from laugh-out-loud comedy to mesmeric drama.

Family Album is a social comedy wickedly poking fun at Victorian sentiment. The Featherways family have gathered to mourn their father. But the siblings are not on their best behaviour. 

Hands Across the Sea is a glittering comedy reminiscent of Hay Fever. Naval officer Peter Gilpin and his wife ‘Piggie’ are the most eccentric party hosts in London.

The Astonished Heart is a gripping drama of secrecy and betrayal. A brilliant psychiatrist, Christian appears to have the perfect life. Then he meets Leonora…

Running time around 2 hours 35 minutes including an interval.

The Company of Tonight at 8.30
Rosemary Ashe: Clara (We Were Dancing), Nanny (Ways and Means), Martha (Shadow Play), Lily Pepper (Red Peppers) Violet (Star Chamber), Myrtle (Still Life), Emily (Family Album), Clare Wedderburn (Hands Across the Sea).

Stefan Bednarczyk: Musical Director / Piano and playing: Major Blake (We Were Dancing), Alf (Red Peppers), Jimmie Horlick (Star Chamber), Albert (Still Life), Bu:rrows (Family Album), Peter (Hands Across the Sea), Sir Reginald (The Astonished Heart)

Sara Crowe: Louise Charteris (We Were Dancing), Olive Lloyd-Ransom (Ways and Means), Victoria (Shadow Play), Xenia James (Star Chamber), Dolly (Still Life), Lavinia (Family Album), Mrs Wadhurst (Hands Across the Sea), Leonora (The Astonished Heart).

Miranda Foster: Stella (Ways and Means), Sibyl (Shadow Play), Miss Mabel Grace (Red Peppers) Dame Rose (Star Chamber), Laura (Still Life), Jane (Family Album), Piggie (Hands Across the Sea), Barbara (The Astonished Heart).

Ian Hallard: Karl (We Were Dancing), Chaps (Ways and Means), Simon (Shadow Play), Johnny Bolton (Star Chamber), Johnnie (Still Life), Richard (Family Album), Mr Wadhurst (Hands Across the Sea).

Jeremy Rose: Servant (We Were Dancing), Gaston (Ways and Means), George Cunningham (Shadow Play), George Pepper (Red Peppers), Julian Breed (Star Chamber), Bill (Still Life), Edward (Family Album), Ally (Hands Across the Sea), Ernest (The Astonished Heart).

Boadicea Ricketts: Eva (We Were Dancing), Princess Eléna (Ways and Means), Lena (Shadow Play), Hester (Star Chamber), Beryl (Still Life), Harriet (Family Album), Walters (Hands Across the Sea), Susan (The Astonished Heart).

Nick Waring: Hubert Charteris (We Were Dancing), Toby Cartwright (Ways and Means), Michael (Shadow Play), Mr Edwards (Red Peppers), Mr Farmer (Star Chamber), Alec (Still Life), Jasper Featherways (Family Album), Major ‘Bogey’ Gosling (Hands Across the Sea), Christian (The Astonished Heart).

Ben Wiggins: George (We Were Dancing), Stevens (Ways and Means), Young Man (Shadow Play), Alf (Red Peppers), Maurice (Star Chamber), Stanley (Still Life), Charles (Family Album), Mr Burnham (Hands Across the Sea), Tim (The Astonished Heart).

Creative Team
Directed by Tom Littler
Set design by Louie Whitemore
Costume design by Emily Stuart
Lighting design by Tim Mascall
Sound design by Tom Attwood
Choreography and associate direction by Gabbie Bird
Musical direction by Stefan Bednarczyk

Show Times

Weekdays (Wed/Th/Fri) at 7.30pm.
Saturdays and Sundays at 11.30am, 3.30pm, and 7.30pm.

Bedroom Farces:
MAY:
Thursday 17th,(7.30pm) Saturday 19th (3.30pm), Sunday 20th (3.30pm)

Secret Hearts:
MAY:
Friday 18th,(7.30pm) Saturday 19th (11.30AM), Sunday 20th (7.30pm).

Nuclear Families:
MAY:
Wednesday 16th (7.30pm), Saturday 19th (7.30pm), Sunday 20th (11.30AM).

Tickets

Please note that after Sunday 29 April all tickets are full price.

Weekend Trilogy Ticket – IMPORTANT INFORMATION – THESE ARE NOW SOLD OUT
Weekend Trilogy Ticket + Meal Deals – IMPORTANT INFORMATION – THESE ARE NOW SOLD OUT.