Ivor Novello was part of the original cast. The plot told a tale of free love among the wealthy.
The London opening of Sirocco met with violently unfavorable audience reaction and a very harsh critical reception. Coward was later asked whether he had ever despaired when faced with a failure like Sirocco. He replied, "Well, if I'm going to have a flop, I like it to be a rouser. I didn't despair at all. What made it much more interesting was that my mother, who is slightly deaf, thought the booing was cheering. Incredibly Basil Dean, the producer of the play, made the same mistake. He was ringing the curtain up and down with a beaming smile. I said, 'Wipe that smile off your face, dear - this is it.'"
- Heilpern, John. The Observer, December 14, 1969
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