Speaker: Oliver Soden
Topic: The Lives of Noël Coward
Venue: Vinson Lecture Theatre
Time: 17:00-18:00 Saturday 16 September
It is easy to regard comedy as inherently inferior to tragedy, a curse that attaches itself to Noël Coward, despite the title – ‘The Master’ – bestowed on him for his extraordinary achievements in the theatre. For Coward had much more than an ability to amuse. In music, drama and film he held up a not always flattering mirror to the Britain he loved – and, despite his worldly success and acclaim, he found personal happiness elusive to the end.
Oliver Soden’s writing – on art, music and literature – has appeared in the Guardian, Spectator, London Review of Books and Times Literary Supplement. He has worked on award-winning television documentaries such as Janet Baker: In Her Own Words and for BBC Radio 3’s long-running programme Private Passions. He is a biographer of the composer Michael Tippett, and his latest book is Masquerade: the Lives of Noël Coward.