Noël Coward Society

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The Noël Coward Society is an international society founded with the agreement of Coward's literary agent and Estate to celebrate the life and work of Sir Noël Coward.

The Noël Coward Society was founded in 1999 and is the only official international body which aims to study and promote, enjoy and celebrate the myriad aspects of Cowards achievements as a playwright, composer, librettist, theatre and film director, actor, novelist, short story writer, poet, cabaret artist and wit. It owns an extensive archive of recordings and written works and is attempting to become the official on-line archive of all things "Coward".

The Noël Coward Society is the only activity of Noël Coward Ltd. a charitable company set up to manage the Society. It is currently administered by its General Secretary John Hunter Knowles ( a founding member of the Society) from Norwich, Norfolk. UK and has a membership of just over 700 people worldwide. The day-to-day running of the Society is managed by an organising committee chaired by Denys Robinson. The Society has representatives in France, Australia and the USA. Each year it celebrates the birth of Noël Coward at the Noël Coward Theatre and the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane on the nearest Friday to his birthdate. The celebration consists of the AGM of the Society at the Noël Coward Theatre followed by a celebrated personage from the theatre world laying flowers on the statue of Sir Noël Coward in the foyer of the Theatre Royal. The Annual Lunch follows in the Grand Saloon at the theatre with a cabaret item at the end of the meal. The Society has some 300 members in the UK, 300 in the USA and 100 across the World.

The Australian Representative is Kerry Hailstone and the French Representative is Professor Hélène Catsiapis. The US Director is Ken Starrett and, since 2002, he has successfully recruited over 300 members to join the organization through his frequent screenings of Coward's television and film work at The Paley Center For Media (formerly The Museum of Television and Radio) in New York City. Since 2003, Starrett has also organized the annual birthday celebration in December, which includes the flower laying ceremony at The Gershwin Theatre in Manhattan, as well as a special luncheon honoring "The Master". Among the celebrities who have placed flowers in front of Coward's statue are Tammy Grimes, Keir Dullea, Tony Walton, Kitty Carlisle Hart, Hayley Mills, Marian Seldes, Jim Dale, Victor Garber, Christine Ebersole, Dick Cavett. Stephen Fry, Joan Copeland, and Jamie Ross. There are also similar ceremonies which take place at The Drury Lane Theatre in London, England and at Firefly Estate (Coward's home).[1] in Jamaica.

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  1. ^ Reference to Coward's home in Jamaica