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John Michael Swinbank shares his passion for the words and music of legendary theatrical songwriter, Noël Coward in a special Christmas season celebrating the Master’s birthday and dazzling talent to amuse.
Coward who was born December 16, 1899 was one of the most gifted entertainers of the 20th Century succeeding as an actor, a playwright and songwriter. John Michael’s special affinity for the British composer’s material came to prominence through various glamorous career peaks, such as firing Hong Kong’s Noonday Gun (immortalised in Coward’s Mad Dogs & Englishmen), re-opening Singapore’s world famous Raffles Hotel and aboard Cunard ocean-liner, QE2. American novelist Gore Vidal noted, “JMS is better looking than my old friend, Noël and very funny!”
John Michael said that he found Coward’s songs perennial and endlessly amusing. “From Singers to Honkers, Bangers to bonkers – and back again, it has been my pleasure to purvey the wit, the heart and the urbanity from one elegant watering hole to another of the most sophisticated songwriter in the English language,” he said. “Coward’s songs reveal a keen observation of social behaviour, in particular on matters of the human heart and its wayward nature, frequently with hilarious complications.”
On the hit list are some of Coward’s signature bittersweet tunes such as I’ll See You Again, Poor Little Rich Girl and A Room with a View, as well as the great comedy songs such as Don’t Put Your Daughter on the Stage, Mrs Worthington, Nina from Argentina, and In a Bar on the Piccola Marina.