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Goldenhurst, Kent - Jill Esmond, Noël Coward, Ivy St Helier and Laurence Olivier, 1920s. Image: Courtesy of the Noël Coward Archive Trust

We love the start of a Festival Season. This year we’re marking it in style with a foyer-wide exhibition alongside our production of The Vortex. We'll be delving deeper into the world of Noël Coward with a free exhibition celebrating his life and work, including CFT’s productions through the years, presented in collaboration with the Noël Coward Archive Trust.

The Vortex was Coward’s first big commercial success, and the items in the exhibition have been chosen to help us understand everything that led to this moment.

Some of the items that you can explore at our exhibition include the earliest known notebooks kept by Coward as a teenager, filled with his ink and watercolour drawings, ranging from satirical caricatures to fanciful stage costumes. And we’ve even got Coward’s very own dressing gown and slippers!

As well as looking back at his early life, the exhibition of course includes a trip down CFT memory lane. For example, did you know that every decade since 1970 has seen at least one production by 'The Master'?

This exhibition is free to attend so just drop in at a time that suits. If you've booked to see The Vortex, why not head to CFT a little earlier to take a look at the exhibition before the show. Or if you want to get closer, book a guided tour on the 9 or 12 May from the curator, our Heritage and Archive Manager, Helena Berry.