Coward in the room
Interwar glamour and the performances of a queer modernity
in Bachelors of a different sort
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This chapter shows the affect of glamour on the relationship between identity and the interior through the auspices of theatre and lived spaces. It necessarily moves back and forth between life and design on and off the stage; after all, interiors from the 1920s and 1930s constructed a 'stage-set modernism'. Interwar glamour was not simply a product of entertainment, but equally one of design, or perhaps more appropriately of a design for modern living. Not without contradiction and a heavy dose of shame, Noël Coward's modernity was akin to a new generation of continental architects who viewed homosexuality as deviant and dirty, best set in relief and exposed against the whitewashed walls of modern interiors. Set against this background Coward nevertheless provided his generation with a decidedly queer display of glamour, a quality more often than not associated with the feminine.


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