BBC Radio 7, 14 August 2010
Another tall tale involving Noel Coward (Malcolm Sinclair), this time taking
place in Jamaica at the time of Fidel Castro's revolution during the late 1950s. This time Coward was involved in an a complex
espionage scheme which involved him giving a speech on 'the future of the London theatre' to the Middlebrow Group, comprised
mostly of aficionados and home workers, including secret code-words. No one could understand in the least what he
was saying, but at least the speech provided an excuse for Ian Fleming (Nicholas Farrell) to show off his love of espionage.
Contrast this attitude with that of Coward himself; in spite of his involvement in this scheme, he cared little now for a
life of adventure, preferring instead to remain cooped up in his Jamaican eyrie, attended by his devoted secretary Lorne Lorraine
Our Man in Jamaica was perhaps the most preposterous of the Noel Coward
mystery series - a prolix pastiche of James Bond, with Coward keeping the stiffest of stiff upper lips, while being out-phlegmatized
by the British agent Atkinson (Peter Donaldson, taking a well-earned rest from his Radio 4 announcing duties). In a sense
the play was not really about Coward at all, but rather a meditation on Englishness - its virtues (sang-froid, calmness)
and its vices (foolhardiness). The director was Gordon House.