David Benson sings Noel Coward

****
4 stars

Over the years that I have seen David Benson’s Fringe shows, they have been marked by style and stage presence. This show featuring a pleasing mix of Noel Coward’s songs is no exception.

David Benson’s voice and delivery suit the music and lyrics of Coward’s comedy and love songs. He is very ably accompanied by pianist Stewart Nicholls, a self confessed Coward aficionado and expert. The programming of the songs taken from Coward’s prolific output dating from 1917 to 1963 illustrates the rumbustious compositions such as the ever popular Mad Dogs and Englishmen to the emotional Mad about the Boy.

Songs from the ‘Sail Away’, Coward’s final musical, are definite highlights, particularly when both artistes perform a humorous ditty about the true feelings of long married partners. David Benson has an easy rapport with the audience as he explains the context of each song with some assistance from Stewart Nicholls.

Noel Coward’s songs come from a bygone era but they deserve to be acknowledged as the work of an outstanding writer. David Benson does convey that sense of value in a most entertaining manner.

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