Volcano

Noel Coward

Volcano

Recently widowed Adela Shelly finds herself being seduced by the suave Guy Littleton, a visitor to her elegant Pacific house on the side of an island volcano. 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... 2.8 out of 5 based on 9 reviews
Volcano

Omniscore:

Location London
Venue Vaudeville Theatre
Director Roy Marsden
Cast Jason Durr, Jenny Seagrove, Perdita Avery, Dawn Steele, Finty Williams
From August 2012
Until August 2012
Box Office 0844 412 4663
 

Recently widowed Adela Shelly finds herself being seduced by the suave Guy Littleton, a visitor to her elegant Pacific house on the side of an island volcano. 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...

Reviews

The Daily Telegraph

Laura Thompson

Although Volcano is a second-rate work that, had it been produced, would doubtless have been considerably revised, it nevertheless reveals Coward’s gloriously sure touch upon the keys of human motivation. Constant revivals of his most popular plays have ensured that Coward never fell from notice quite so radically as Rattigan, and he has therefore not undergone quite the same ecstatic revisionism, yet in his way he deserves it just as much. Even more than wit, he has wisdom, as this production goes some way to proving.

20/08/2012

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The Times

Libby Purves

As the volcano overhead grumbles towards eruption, one daydreams about a replay of Pompeii, with lava-flow leaving all these people petrified in Coward poses: a cigarette elegantly waved, a head tilted, a thin woman expressing thwarted passion. . .

17/08/2012

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The Daily Express

Julie Carpenter

A thinly veiled portrait of some of Coward’s famous friends, in particular James Bond author Ian Fleming, whose Jamaican home was near to Coward’s and who inspired one of the play’s central characters, the suave philanderer Guy. The pity is that this knowledge is arguably of greater interest than the play itself, which typically deals with the tangled love lives of the rich and selfish but falls short of vintage Coward and will probably appeal most to the playwright’s devotees.

17/08/2012

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The Financial Times

Ian Shuttleworth

One cannot imagine the Lord Chamberlain, Britain’s theatrical censor until the late 1960s, having much to object to in this material; it does little more than use the S-E-X word. Ah, but then the tiniest twist makes all the difference...

19/08/2012

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The Stage

Ben Dowell

It is difficult to engage sympathetically with the sexual shenannigans of this sybaritic milieu and there are moments when the titters owe more to the anachronistic nature of the often lumpen dialogue and a world where people are either cads, decent coves or terribly in love with one another. And the symbolism of the volcano bubbling away above them is hardly subtle.

20/08/2012

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The Evening Standard

Fiona Mountford

There’s precious little that anyone can make of such minimal depth of characterisation and duly the cast in Roy Marsden’s wilting production make little of it. Seagrove runs her customary gamut of expressions from frozen to glacial, while Durr strides about masterfully in big boots, which is about all the role asks of him. There’s a neat supporting comic turn from Finty Williams, but as her character desires to go to bed with no one except her own husband, we don’t hear much of her.

20/08/2012

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The Guardian

Michael Billington

The play flirts intriguingly with bisexuality and has one or two flicks of wit: told that the Samolan natives positively worship the local volcano, Guy's visiting wife tartly says: "I'm finding it difficult to like it." But, in general, the play is flabbily written and displays an ageing writer's disdain for the kind of sexual pleasures he once joyously advocated.

17/08/2012

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The Sunday Times

David Jays

oward’s play may have been too sexually candid for 1956, or too closely modelled on his bed-hopping chums. But mostly, it’s just a bit duff. The volcano itself is a rudimentary symbol of tensions that threaten to boil over.

26/08/2012

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Time Out

Nina Caplan

There are interesting discussions in here - of constancy and duty and marriage's other compromises - but they're suffocating in schlock. And while Dawn Steele and Finty Williams do good work, Jason Durr as Guy seems about as sexually dangerous as Kenneth Williams, and Jenny Seagrove's Adela is as cold as Everest's peak.

20/08/2012

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