Drawing: Dawn Steele in Volcano

Dawn Steele

Scottish actress Dawn Steele returned to the stage in Noel Coward’s ‘lost’ play Volcano which completed a UK tour with a limited six-week run at London’s Vaudeville Theatre in the Autumn of 2012. promoted as a ‘tempestuous drama bubbling with scandal’, it was never performed in Coward’s lifetime and this is believed to be the first major production of the play and it’s West End debut. Written in 1956 when the playwright was suffering the dubious status of being Britain’s first tax exile, it is the product of his laid-back lifestyle, living in a chalet on a hilltop in Jamaica. Crucially it contains a wicked portrait of his equally famous neighbour, James Bond author Ian Feming. “Smouldering libidos among the idle rich,”was one description. Set on the fictional Caribbean Island of Samola,the plot revolves around a love affair between widowed Adela (Jenny Seagrove) and philandering guy (Jason Durr). Enter Dawn, as the acid-tongued wife, Melissa who turns up to retrieve her cheating husband. Best known for playing ‘sexy Lexie’ in the BBC’s Monarch of the Glen,the Independent’s Paul Taylor said one of the highlights was the sparring between Adela and the “witty, glintingly malignant Melissa.” the West End Wingers called Dawn’s performance “pleasingly acidic.”

Dawn signed this sketch and added a kind dedication at the theatre.

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