The place of Cole Porter – the centenary of whose birth fell last June – within the tradition of the American musical has been well documented and fully discussed. Usually, however, this is at the expense of his earliest work, first as an exponent of Gilbertian pastiche, later as a dilettante ex-legionnaire in France – and then, as he grew aware of his own potential as a professional, in his work for the London theatre in the 1920s and early 1930s. Much of this was for revues mounted by the legendary impresario C. B. Cochran, though in 1933 the production of Nymph Errant proved to be his first and last original, full scale book musical for Britain, shortly before Porter's decision to move his home as well as his ambitions to Broadway. James Moore is a Cambridge-based writer, whose current work in progress includes a book on the British–American musical theatre and a full-length biography of Cochran's great rival, André Chariot – with whom Cole Porter finally collaborated in 1934, contributing ‘Miss Otis Regrets’ to the topical revue Hi Diddle Diddle.
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