Noël Coward’s Weekend at the Academy

Beverly Hills, CA (April 5, 2010) — Actor and writer Stephen Fry will host the first night of a special Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ weekend salute to playwright, composer, director and actor Noël Coward that will include a live theatrical presentation of two of Coward’s little seen short plays – Design for Rehearsing and Age Cannot Wither – followed by a screening of the 1932/33 Best Picture Oscar® winner “Cavalcade,” on Friday, April 16, at 7:30 p.m. at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. The salute will continue through Saturday and Sunday with double-feature screenings at the Academy’s Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood. The events are presented as closing weekend festivities for the exhibition “Star Quality: The World of Noël Coward,” in the Academy’s Fourth Floor Gallery.

A complete schedule for “An Academy Salute to Noël Coward” is as follows:

Friday, April 16, 7:30 p.m.
Samuel Goldwyn Theater, Beverly Hills

“Star Quality: The World of Noël Coward,” will be open for viewing in the Academy’s Fourth Floor Gallery from 6–7:30 p.m. and immediately following the program.

Design for Rehearsing – live theatrical presentation by L.A. Theatre Works
This brings to life the rehearsal process Coward undertook with his friends Lynn Fontanne and Alfred Lunt for the 1933 debut of Design for Living.

Age Cannot Wither – live theatrical presentation by L.A. Theatre Works
This is a fragment from Coward’s last, unfinished work, begun in 1967, about a reunion of three 60-ish school chums.

“Cavalcade” (1933)
Based on Coward’s 1931 London theatrical production, “Cavalcade” follows a wealthy family as they experience key historical events in the first three decades of the 20th century, including the Titanic tragedy and World War I.

Directed by Frank Lloyd. Produced by Winfield Sheehan. Screenplay by Reginald Berkeley, based on the play by Noël Coward. Print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive and Twentieth Century Fox. 110 minutes.

Academy Award® winner (1932/33): Outstanding Production (Fox), Art Direction (William S. Darling), Directing (Lloyd)

Academy Award nominee (1932/33): Actress (Diana Wynyard)

Saturday, April 17, 7 p.m.
Linwood Dunn Theater, Hollywood

“Brief Encounter” (1945)
Presenting a restoration by the British Film Institute

Coward’s classic film presents the story of two married people, a housewife and a doctor, whose weekly meetings in a railway station café lead to a frustrated love. The screenplay and the play on which it was based were the inspiration for the recent new stage production hailed by critics and audiences alike in New York, San Francisco and Minneapolis.

Starring Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard. Directed by David Lean. Produced by Noël Coward. Screenplay by Lean, Anthony Havelock-Allan and Ronald Neame, based on the one-act play Still Life by Coward. Print courtesy of the British Film Institute and MGM. 86 minutes.

Academy Award nominee (1946): Actress (Johnson), Directing (Lean), Writing (Lean, Havelock-Allan, Neame)

“In Which We Serve” (1942)
Presenting a restoration by the British Film Institute.

Noël Coward co-directed this inspirational wartime film with David Lean, in addition to writing, producing, composing the musical score and starring as Captain Kinross. As the survivors of the sinking of the British destroyer HMS Torrin cling to a life raft, their stories are told in flashback.

Directed by Noël Coward and David Lean. Produced by Coward. Screenplay by Coward. Two Cities Films. Print courtesy of the British Film Institute and MGM. 116 minutes.
Academy Award winner (1942): Special Award to Noël Coward for his outstanding production achievement

Academy Award nominee (1943): Outstanding Motion Picture (Two Cities), Writing –Original Screenplay (Noël Coward)

Sunday, April 18, 7 p.m.
Linwood Dunn Theater, Hollywood

“Bitter Sweet”
Introduced by exhibition guest curator Brad Rosenstein

Presentation of rare, newly reassembled footage from Noël Coward’s 1929 production of Bitter Sweet at His Majesty’s Theatre, London. 50 minutes.

“Blithe Spirit”(1945)
Presenting a restoration by the British Film Institute

Charles Condomine (Rex Harrison) and his second wife Ruth (Constance Cummings) are befuddled by the appearance of his late wife’s ghost, Elvira (Kay Hammond) following a séance staged by medium Madame Arcati (Margaret Rutherford).

Directed by David Lean. Produced by Noël Coward. Screenplay by Lean, Ronald Neame, Anthony Havelock-Allan, based on the play by Coward. Noël Coward-Cineguild; Two Cities Films. Print courtesy of the British Film Institute and MGM. 96 minutes.

Academy Award winner (1946): Special Effects (Thomas Howard)

Tickets for each of the three Noël Coward evenings are $5 for the general public and $3 for Academy members and students with a valid ID. Tickets are available by mail, at the Academy box office (Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.), or online at www.oscars.org. Doors open one hour prior to each event. All seating is unreserved.

The Samuel Goldwyn Theater is located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. The Linwood Dunn Theater is located at 1313 Vine Street in Hollywood. For more information, call (310) 247-3600 or visit www.oscars.org.

Contact Information

For more information, contact

Teni Melidonian
tmelidonian@oscars.org