Graham Payn: Noel Coward’s Boy Soprano Supreme

Graham sings a sweet song about the countryside in 1931, aged thirteen.

The British Pathe film archive is one of the few places that the public can access videos of Graham Payn, the famous 1920s and 30s child star who later became better known as the longterm partner of British playwright and thespian mogul Noel Coward.

There were about 20 years in age between the two, and so Noel Coward would have been in his mid thirties around the time of these videos, when Graham Payn was a successful boy soprano doing the London theatre circuit.

Despite Noel Coward’s constant pedelling of Graham’s career, it was generally believed within the industry that he was overrated as a singer and had limited talent. Noel Coward never acknowledged his homosexuality publically during his life, but it was widely aknowledged post-humously and Graham managed Coward’s literary estate for 25 years, writing in depth on the subject of Coward’s private life.

See Graham Payn singing and here is celebrated soprano voice in the British Pathe archive: Graham Payn videos

Graham Payn, a child star in the making who caught Noel Coward's eye.

Author: British Pathé

British Pathé holds the world's finest newsreel collection. We also represent the Reuters historical collection. All 220K films are viewable on our website.

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