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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "After all, I was only thinking of the play."
"Star Quality," Noel Coward's satirical novella (written in 1951) about the production of a new play, with all its attendant problems, is so full of dramatic life that it is easy to see why Coward himself attempted to convert it to a play in 1956, and why other playwrights, using Coward's own script as a base, have added to it and ultimately produced it as a...
Published on 4 Jan. 2006 by Mary Whipple

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing Curiosity
I'm a big fan of Coward and the short story that was the basis of this play. Said this I have to say that I was hugely disappointed. Mainly because you don't have Coward's play but rather an adaptation of it and the short story. You can easily see that some scenes were left untouched, but others were rather cut out. The second act is particularly disappointing. There are...
Published on 18 Nov. 2001


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing Curiosity, 18 Nov. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Star Quality (Modern Plays) (Paperback)
I'm a big fan of Coward and the short story that was the basis of this play. Said this I have to say that I was hugely disappointed. Mainly because you don't have Coward's play but rather an adaptation of it and the short story. You can easily see that some scenes were left untouched, but others were rather cut out. The second act is particularly disappointing. There are still many funny moments where you can't stop laughing but they are mainly in the first act. And to me the ending was quite weak.
According to the introduction the original play had 3 acts and 18 speaking parts and several sets. Now we have 2 acts and 8 speaking parts. And several stage directions that can only make you loose track of the action and are too close of the present staging. If you can understand restrictions on staging it, you certainly can't understand why the play wasn't published accordingly to Coward's manuscript. Methuen lost a really good opportunity of giving us a lost treasure. Unless of course they are leaving it to a possible volume 9 of collected plays - which I doubt.
It's a nice curiosity for Coward's fans, but if you are new to his work please choose another play, the novel or go for the short stories.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "After all, I was only thinking of the play.", 4 Jan. 2006
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Mary Whipple (New England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Star Quality (Modern Plays) (Paperback)
"Star Quality," Noel Coward's satirical novella (written in 1951) about the production of a new play, with all its attendant problems, is so full of dramatic life that it is easy to see why Coward himself attempted to convert it to a play in 1956, and why other playwrights, using Coward's own script as a base, have added to it and ultimately produced it as a play in London and New York.
Describing the mounting of a play by an unknown author, "Star Quality" comes roaring to life when the respected Ray Malcolm is hired to be director, and the egomaniacal star Lorraine Barrie is chosen to be leading lady. The clash of egos and wills between Malcolm and Barrie is a foregone conclusion, though each insists that "the play comes first."
The "star" insists that they hire Marion Blake as a supporting character because she will not compete with Barrie for the limelight, then decides that the entire ending has to be rewritten. When Malcolm decides to fire Marian Blake for incompetence, Barrie plays games and pretends to be ill, unable to go on. A hissy fit results in fisticuffs.
The characters, though stereotypes, enhance the wicked satire of play production. Of particular note is the character of Tony, a friend of the director. Written long before gay liberation, Coward is completely open here about the role of gays in the theatre and their influence on productions, though he skirted around this subject in his play Present Laughter. A charming period piece which still has relevance in the present, this is one of Coward's most vibrant and delicious satires. Mary Whipple
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Star Quality (Modern Plays)
Star Quality (Modern Plays) by Noal Coward (Paperback - 1 Oct. 2001)
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