12 January 2022 / Events

Online – The Importance of Editing Noël?


This lecture will be given via Zoom Webinar. Please book on this page and we will email you the live link 24 hours before the event.

We often assume that the texts of 20th-century plays as they are available in established series from respected publishers are dependable. We probably tend to think that most of them, unlike early modern plays, are unlikely to call for more than the occasional explanatory note. Noël Coward oversaw the publication of his plays for the series of Play Parade volumes, and these have been the basis for Methuen Drama’s excellent multi-volume paperback Collected Works. But are there grounds for revisiting these texts? Just how important would it be to ‘edit Noël’ afresh. And what form might such editions take? Would they be useful or, for that matter, marketable? These are some of the questions that have occurred to me in the course of research into Coward’s practices as a writer, and which will be addressed in the talk with reference to unpublished archival material.

Speaker: Russell Jackson is Emeritus Professor of Drama in the University of Birmingham. His publications include The Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare on film (2nd edition, 2007), Shakespeare Films in the Making: Vision, Production and Reception (Cambridge 2007), Theatres on film: how the Cinema imagines the Stage (Manchester, 2013), Shakespeare and the English-speaking Cinema (Oxford, 2014) and Shakespeare in the Theatre: Trevor Nunn (London, 2018). He has recently edited the Cambridge Companion to Shakespeare on Screen. He received the Society’s Denning Award in support of research for Noël Coward: The Playwright’s Craft in a Changing Theatre, the first book-length critical study to draw extensively on script material from the archive, which will be published by Methuen Drama in May 2022.


12 January 2022


19:30 - 21:00