Colin Firth is getting comfortable playing British “royalty.” After earning a well-deserved Oscar for capturing the complicated dignity of King George VI in Tom Hooper’s The King’s Speech, Firth next appears ready to turn his attentions to English legend Sir Noel Coward in the feature film Mad Dogs and Englishmen.
The title is borrowed from Coward’s smash-hit song, penned by the award-winning playwright, singer, composer, songwriter and actor. Deadline, which links Firth to the new production, says the film will focus primarily on Coward’s late-career stint at the Desert Inn in Las Vegas, circa 1955. At the time, Coward was invited to Sin City to stand in for local legend Liberace, how had fallen and had to cancel a string of dates. The Mad Dogs screenplay, credited to Willy Holtzman, will focus on Coward’s two-week sting in Vegas, and the relationship he forged with the piano player who back him up on the gig.
So it sounds like we can expect Firth – who looks nothing like Coward – to sing, dance and entertain. And do you have any doubt that he’ll be able to pull it off? I don’t. Very few actors endure the difficult Oscar campaign season with the amount of grace and good humor that Firth brought to the table. The man is an all-time pro, with the talent to back up the accolades. He’ll make an excellent Coward. Before Mad Dogs, though, Firth will be seen in the anticipated Gambit (penned by Joel and Ethan Cohen) and the dramatic The Railway Man, which finds the actor playing prisoner-of-war Eric Lomax.
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