Review: Star Quality, Newcastle Theatre Royal, October 24-29

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GOLDEN Globe winner Amanda Donohoe is set to star in Noël Coward’s deliciously funny final play, Star Quality.

It’s 1940’s England, and a famous director has decided to take a chance on the first script of a hopeful young playwright. Unfortunately, he’s after a Grande Dame for the leading role, and it’s fireworks from the off.

In Star Quality, the master of wit and comedy takes us behind the scenes of a new West End production, conjuring up a wickedly observant satire of the backstage world of talent and treachery with a gallery of unforgettable characters.

From tentative first rehearsal to triumphant opening night, both leading lady (Donohoe) and director are determined to get their own way and the resulting clash of egos becomes increasingly and hilariously bloody.

This, Coward’s last play, is bursting with dazzlingly funny dialogue and charm. What emerges from the mayhem of biting wit and hissy fits is a startling evocation of that most elusive gift of all – star quality.

Amanda (Lorraine Barrie) is an internationally-acclaimed star of stage and screen. Winner of a Golden Globe for her role in the tv series LA Law, Amanda has most recently been seen as feisty femme fatale Natasha Wylde in Emmerdale.

A writer, actor, composer, director and singer, Noël Coward is one of the most celebrated figures in theatre.

His plays including Blithe Spirit, Present Laughter and Hay Fever, written with a razor-sharp wit and keen eye for satire, remain hugely popular and in almost constant production decades later, and confirmed his reputation as the master of comedy writing.

Tickets for Star Quality cost from £9- £30 and can be purchased from 08448 11 21 21.