Tonight at Eight-Thirty
A sequence of Nine One-act Plays and Musicals by Noel Coward. Designed to be presented in various combinations of three bills of three plays.
Manchester Opera House, 15 October, 1935. Phoenix Theatre, London 29 January, 1936
Tonight at 8.30: A series of one-act plays, the parts depict the decline of Western civilization, and are performed in different combinations to make up three shows.
We Were Dancing
Comedy; 2 Scenes
After spending an evening trying to convince her husband to let
her go to Australia with her lover, next morning, a young wife
has second thoughts about the
affair and decides against it.
Country club members
The Astonished Heart
Play 6 Scenes
Through a series of flashbacks, in reverse order, the stormy passionate affair of a psychiatrist and his wife's friend is shown culminating in his death by suicide.
Sir Reginald French
Sketch with music
George and Lily Pepper have a music-hall act which is decidedly not up to scratch. They row with the manager after a poor first house, and during the second the musical director makes their act look ridiculous.
George and Lily Pepper, a music-hall duo
Mr Edwards, House Manager
Bert Bendy, Musical Director
Alf, call boy
Mabel Grace, an old actress
Hands Across the Sea
Colonial couple, the Wadhursts, are mistakenly at the London party given by the scatterbrained Piggie Gilpin. Piggy has just returned from a world tour and takes them for people she met on her travels. They are subjected to meaningless conversations about people they do not know by a hostess who has forgotten who they are.
Peter Gilpin, a young navy man
Alistair Corbett, a young navy man
Mr Wadhurst, a pleasant middle aged man
Mrs Wadhurst, his wife
'Bogey' Gosling, handsome young marine
Lady Maureen 'Piggie' Gilpin
Walters, parlour maid
Unpleasant Comedy 2 scenes
Henry Gow is a poor down-trodden male in a household of dreadful women, a sloppy wife, a snivelling daughter, and a hideous nagging mother-in-law. After a few drinks at the pub he tells them all what he thinks, takes his savings, and leaves them to it for good.
Doris, his wife
Elsie, their daughter
Mrs Rockett, mother-in-law
Musical Fantasy - 1 scene
A woman, about to be divorced, takes an overdose of pills and relives the happiness the couple had in the early years. Her memories bring them back together.
A young man
Victorian Comedy with music - 1 scene : Published 1936. Produced Theatre Royal, Birmingham 9 December, 1935; Phoenix Theatre, London 9 January, 1936
In 1860 when the Featherways family gather to hear the will of their deceased father, drink makes them reveal what they all thought about the old boy, a mean, pompous, and profligate bounder. Daughter Lavinia and butler Burrows liven up the proceedings even more by admitting that they have burnt the will that would have left the family fortune to father's mistress.
Ways and Means
Comedy 3 Scenes: Published 1936. Produced Phoenix Theatre, London 5 May, 1936
The Cartwrights have become unwelcome guests at Olive's Riviera house; they are broke. Their difficulties are solved when their host is robbed by a friendly chauffeur who goes halves with them, leaving them bound and gagged to allay suspicion.
Stella Cartwright, his wife
Princess Elena Krasiloff
Gaston, French valet
Play 5 Scenes: Published 1936. Produced Phoenix Theatre, London 5 May, 1936
Set in a railway station refreshment room with the comic activities of its personel, Alec and Laura, both married, meet and fall in love, have a few furtive moments of happiness and the agonies of guilt, and then finally part, their farewell being cruelly spoilt by a garrulous friend.
Albert Godby, ticket collector
Bill and Johnny, soldiers
Stanley, a young man
- Has Anybody Seen Our Ship?
- We Were Dancing
- You Were There
- Play, Orchestra, Play
- Men About Town