BON VOYAGE by Noel Coward


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Four stories by the master of contrapuntal confidences and stiff upper auricle, whose works, fortunately, are now undergoing a renaissance in the theatre. After a dreadful tale in which a lovesome middle-aged lady stoops to roaring folly and is extravagantly dispatched, a reminiscence of an elderly woman upon the death of her companion of many years, a swatch of the last day on earth of a socially enterprising sob journalist, the title story appears as a winning replay of the airs Coward plays best. In Bon Voyage, the Captain's table on an American cruise ship gathers a not-quite-random group: Sir Roderick and Lady Bland, securely patrician; a gamboling honeymoon pair; a dear retired couple, Mr. and Mrs. Teitelbaum; a famous female writer of certain years, Lola Widmeyer; a thrice married-and-divorced lush, Eldrich Trumbull III; and the corrosive Mrs. Irma Z. Kaplan, who gives of herself 'til everyone hurts. Eldrich and Lola spar deliciously; the Teitelbaums are adorably gauche while Lady Bland and Irma Z. work their good and ill respectively. The death of Mr. Teitelbaum at the close is a tragedy gently grieved, and Lola and Eldrich celebrate their autumnal devotion. The dialogue glitters with fun and carefully turned sentiment, and the bittersweet temps perdu of an Outward Bound chance relevance is done to a gallant fare-you-well. Three scows and a yacht.

Pub Date: June 7th, 1968
Publisher: Doubleday