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1. Hay Fever: Starring Jeffrey Jones,

1. Hay Fever: Starring Jeffrey Jones, Carolyn Seymour and Eric Stoltz
by Noel Coward, L.A. Theatre Works, Jeffrey Jones, Eric Stoltz
Audio Cassette: Pages (2001-07-10)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$15.36
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1580811558
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
A weekend at the Bliss family’s country home goes haywire when the guests and hosts play romantic musical chairs. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Hay Fever
A delightful story as relevant today as it was when Noel Coward first wrote it and had it performed in London.

4-0 out of 5 stars "Do you think they know they are mad?"
Written when Coward was only twenty-four, and produced shortly after, in 1925, Hay Fever is a broad, manic farce which takes place in the country house of a self-absorbed, artistic family. The Blisses, each of whom is creative and spontaneous, ignore the stultifying conventions of society--Judith, an extravagant stage actress, who pursues her own whims whenever it pleases her; her husband David, an author, who enjoys his own spotlight and camp-followers; and their adult children, Simon and Sorel.When Sorel announces that she has invited a weekend guest and would like to be able to use "the Japanese room," she quickly discovers that each of the other family members has also invited a guest for "the Japanese room."

In the course of the weekend, all the guests--conventional people attracted by the exciting lives these non-conformists have created for themselves--find themselves at the mercy of their more confident and assertive hosts.Guests who arrive thinking themselves in love with one person find themselves unexpectedly engaged to marry someone else.No one listens to them, no one recognizes them as individuals, and no one cares about their dashed expectations.As the Bliss family controls the activity during the weekend, the farce borders on absurdity.Outrageous scenes and emotional confrontations, part of their "normal" lives, prove too much for their guests.

The fast-paced interaction one sees on stage constitutes the only "plot," and there are no background stories to add complexity.What you see is obvious--what Coward has intended you to see. Far less subtle than some of his later work and lacking the cynicism and clever repartee for which Coward later became known, the play nevertheless incorporates many of Coward's trademark themes--the sense of entitlement by artists (some of which, he hints, is because they really are superior), their flamboyant behavior, the casual attitudes toward marriage and sex, their egotism and insensitivity to "ordinary" people, along with their sense of fun as they pursue their own pleasure.

These themes are all set into sharp relief by the behavior and attitudes of the guests, who gain no audience sympathy for their predicaments because they are decidedly dull.Though some believe that this is one of Coward's best plays, others will prefer the clever repartee, wit, and irony of the later plays, which tend to have a more intimate focus and smaller cast of characters.n Mary Whipple

5-0 out of 5 stars Noel Coward's First Great Comic Success
Noel Coward (1899-1973) is best recalled for his sparkling yet acid-etched comedies, and the 1925 HAY FEVER is among the best, easily ranking alongside such titles as BLITHE SPIRIT, DESIGN FOR LIVING, and PRIVATE LIVES.Among his earlier successes, Coward received inspiration for the play when he visited the home of the great American actress Laurelette Taylor--and found both her and her family shockingly eccentric in an unexpectedly theatrical way.

Unlike most other Coward scripts, HAY FEVER relies less on plot and Coward's talent for sharp wit than it does upon character.Judith, directly based on Laurelette Taylor, is the lynchpin of the piece: recently retired from the stage, she is an intensely theatrical woman who enjoys dramatizing her life.She has invited a much younger man to be a weekend guest, never dreaming that her husband David, son Simon, and daughter Sorrel have each invited a guest as well.

The four guests soon discover that the maid is down with a toothache, there aren't enough rooms, and there is scarcely enough food to go around.To make matters worse, Judith plays every scene that presents itself.It is a habit in which she is not alone; her novelist husband and their two children are every bit as adept at theatrical hysteria as she, and before the weekend concludes the guests are treated to astonshing exhibitions that alternately annoy, confuse, and frighten them out of their wits.

Plays are written to be performed, not read, and HAY FEVER is a good example of the difficulties that can arise when a non-theatre person tries to visualize how it would be on the stage.On the page, it reads as clever and amusing, but only mildly so; on the stage, however, it is easily one of the most hilarious comedies of the 20th Century.Recommended for those who have the imagination required!

GFT, Amazon Reviewer

2-0 out of 5 stars Hay Fever
I was not aware that this was a live stage play.It was hard to follow on the audio tape. This was not really a 'story' being told. You really had to visualize who the characters were and what they were doing. This is not good for an audio book content.
I am an avid audio book listener.

2-0 out of 5 stars Hay Fever
I was not aware that this was a live stage play.It was hard to follow on the audio tape. This was not really a 'story' being told. You really had to visualize who the characters were and what they were doing. This is not good for an audio book content.
I am an avid audio book listener. ... Read more


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