Good news for fans of sensitive, feather-voiced gentlemen: Chris Colfer will play Sir Noel Coward alongside Sir Ian McKellen in what sounds like the most deliciously fruity biopic ever produced. Throw in a little Quentin Crisp and it’s the Pansy Craze all over again.
Here’s what we know: the film’s called Noel, and it’s written by Martin Sherman (who wrote Bent and Mrs. Henderson Presents and has adapted works by E. M. Forester and Tennessee Williams for the stage). Fabulous.
It’ll shoot this summer in England, where conditions are gayest, in partnership with the British Film Institute and the Noel Coward Estate.
Despite being an absolutely vital queer author, Coward is not very well-known amongst contemporary homosexuals. We’re delighted that a popular icon like Colfer will shed some light on his life. In fact, he’s already started: yesterday night he posted an image of Coward on his Instagram.
We have Coward to thank for basically inventing a queer aesthetic all his own. A playwright, composer, novelist, and British Secret Service agent during the war, Coward was born poor but found his way into society in his teens, and there he was determined to stay. He cultivated a dandyish image, and infused his work with a snappy wit and jazzy pace.
During his life, Coward was never openly gay. Though it was an open secret in England, he once protested, “There are still a few old ladies in Worthing who don’t know.”
Well, they’re about to find out.