This Was a Man
Writer: Noel Coward
Director: Belinda Lang
Banned by the Lord Chamberlain in 1925, This Was a Man is debuting on the professional London stage for the first time on July 15, which also happens to be my birthday. Coincidence? I think not. The play was banned on the grounds that it dealt with adultery irreverently. The play centers on Edward Churt, whose wife is serially unfaithful to him. Churt seems to be fine with it for most of the play as he becomes increasingly aware of her infidelity, but his best friend refuses to stand by and do nothing. The play seems like it is going to be entertaining, given the fact that it was banned for its “facetious…treatment of adultery.” Anything that is described as facetious definitely has my attention.
The play investigates what it really means to be a man. Is it better to have good manners or use brute force to get one’s way? Must a man be like a caveman? Is our view of manliness outdated? These are questions that I hope to answer after seeing the play.
The director, Belinda Lang, has performed in multiple plays written by Noel Coward, and I am interested to see how she brings this experience into This Was a Man. It seems to me that she would be a near expert on Coward’s work by now, and this will show in the debut of the play.