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622 Bus in Brighton & Hove carries C. B. Cochran's name
Since 2004, commemorating one of Brighton's brightest sons.
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Cochran, published in 1988, was Harding's third biography set against the backdrop of early 20th century British theatre.
Reviews of Cochran
'A mixed bill, no doubt; but mostly exhilarating, sometimes affecting, and never less than entertaining." John Gross, Sunday Telegraph

'...flawless, conveying with discretion, accuracy and admiration the gargantuan appetites of its subject." Peter Wilson, Sunday Times

The book

Harding's was the first full biography of Cochran (1872 - 1951), the man and the showman.  In his tour of Cochran, from 'revue' to cabaret and partnership with Noël Coward, Harding demonstrated, yet again, his talent for recreating the world of early 20th century British theatre.  Cochran leaps from the pages as we learn how, besides staging rodeos, boxing and wrestling matches, performing flea and midget shows, he also brought to London the Russian Ballet, the Guitrys, Sarah Bernhardt and Eleonora Duse.  With his usual wit and style, Harding highlights the immeasurable influence of Cochran, with particular emphasis on 'Mr Cochran's Young Ladies', his chorus line, which launched the careers of Anna Neagle, Jessie Matthews and Sheilah Graham.      .  

The man
C. B. Cochran, born in Sussex, educated at Oxford, and initially an actor in the United States, was an English Diaghilev, an impresario with a gift both for spotting new talent and for bringing established names together in exciting combinations, but also a gift for bouncing back from successive flops and bankruptcies.  He virtually invented 'revue' before the First World War, moved on to cabaret in the twenties and formed a partnership with Coward for half-a dozen glittering shows including Bitter-Sweet, Cavalcade and Private Lives.  His stars were Alice Delysia, Tilly Losch, the Dolly Sisters, Elisabeth Bergner, Evelyn Laye, Gertrude Lawrence and Beatrice Lillie.  His designers were Oliver Messel, Cecil Beaton and Augustus John.