Waiting in the Wings

This Noel Coward play was the prolific writer’s 50th effort, first performed in 1960. I went to see an amateur production by Proscenium at the Compass Theatre in Ickenham.

Waiting in the Wings is the bittersweet tale of a group of former actresses now resident in a retirement home for ex-thespians, appropriately called The Wings. The main plot involves the arrival of a new resident, who is not on speaking terms with one of the existing ladies. Will the two reconcile?

Like much of Noel Coward’s work, the play is often very funny but it has a poignant side too: the work deals with loneliness, faded glory and even dementia. It requires a large cast, as there are very many characters, but I was incredibly impressed by the standard of acting displayed by every member of the cast, all of whom brought their characters to life. The play was fairly long, but I never once felt bored or restless.

This production is definitely recommended, not only because it’s a rare chance to see a little-performed Coward work, but because the cast do such a wonderful job.


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