The Information on: Private Lives

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The Independent Culture
What Is It?

Philip Franks's revival of Noel Coward's familiar comedy about two 1930s divorcees who find themselves in adjacent rooms on their second honeymoons. The play was voted joint seventh in the National Theatre's poll of the top 100 plays of the century.

Who's In It?

Juliet Stevenson (right) as Amanda, and Anton Lesser as a pint-sized Elyot, fail to achieve the spontaneity or flippancy which the roles require. Support comes from Dominic Rowan as Victor and Rebecca Saire as the new young wife, Sybil.

What They Say About It

"...misconceived, largely mirth-free staging in which everything has an inauthentic feel," Paul Taylor, The Independent

"...enjoyable, if not unflawed, revival ...the production succeeds because it recognises a basic truth: that Coward is writing about the impossibility and necessity of love..." Michael Billington, The Guardian

"...diverting, if never quite hilarious... the emotional weight the two leads bring is at odds with the ideal of flippancy which the characters proudly proclaim," Robert Butler, The Independent on Sunday

Where You Can See It

Private Lives is at the Lyttleton Theatre, London SE1 (0171-452 3000)