Volcano was written in 1956 when Noël Coward was suffering the dubious status of having become Britain’s first celebrity tax exile. The play was never performed during his lifetime. It is the product of his laidback life in Jamaica, and of a period during which he was regarded as a crumbling colonial relic, outmoded by a post-war Labour government and the rowdy commotions of the Angry Young Men back home. This work gives a fascinating insight into the glamorous and sometimes scandalous island lifestyle which Coward himself enjoyed.
This new production of Coward’s “lost” play will transfer to the Vaudeville Theatre for a very limited run from 16th August to 29th September with previews from 14th August. It is produced by Bill Kenwright and Thelma Holt, and stars Jenny Seagrove, as a widow who finds herself being wooed by a suave and charismatic visitor to her elegant Pacific island house on the side of a volcano; Dawn Steele, (Monarch of The Glen, Sea of Souls & Wild at Heart) and Jason Durr (Heartbeat, Above Suspicion).
Recently widowed Adela Shelly finds herself being seduced by the suave Guy Littleton. When Guy’s acid-tongued wife Melissa decides to fly in to see off the competition, she hasn’t contemplated that Adela’s best friend, Ellen, might also be falling for her husband. and as tensions bubble up from under the surface and begin to erupt, so does the volcano, all with explosive consequences.
Inspired by an affair between Coward’s friend Ian Fleming (author of the Bond novels) and a plantation-owning society beauty, it gives a “fascinating insight into the decadent, scandal-ridden lifestyle” that Coward and his fellow ex-pats enjoyed.
Jenny Seagrove’s other recent credits include Rufus Norris’ West End production of Clifford Odets’ The Country Girl and Peter Hall’s revival of Alan Ayckbourn’s Bedroom Farce. She starred as Emma Harte in the Emmy nominated series A Woman of Substance and is also well-known for her many television roles, most notably QC Jo Mills in the BBC series Judge John Deed.
Tickets are available for the previews from 14th August onwards, currently priced from £26 per ticket. See full performance details and costs of various tickets at TheatreTickets.net