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Company · Robin Hood Theatre Company
Production · Private Lives by Noel Coward
Director · Jean Lebeter
Date · 24 to 28 September 2019
plus at Saturday matinee at 2.30pm

Private Lives is described by its author Noel Coward as an intimate comedy of manners. It concerns a divorced couple who, while honeymooning with their new spouses, discover that they are staying in adjacent rooms at the same hotel. Despite a previously stormy relationship, they realise that they still have feelings for each other. And that’s the trouble…….

Coward wrote the play over several weeks in 1930, whilst convalescing from a bout of flu in Shanghai. It was premiered the same year, with Coward taking the role of Elyot opposite Gertrude Lawrence, with Lawrence Olivier as Victor.

It has proved a lasting success and has been revived many times, with some very well known names taking the leading parts. They include Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, Maggie Smith and Robert Stephens ( their son Toby taking the same part as his father opposite Anna Chancellor in a more recent revival.) And of course the late, great Alan Rickman with Lindsay Duncan, who won an Olivier award in the same production at the Albery Theatre, since renamed the Noel Coward theatre.

Private Lives is probably Coward’s most well-known play, and is characterised by his trademark witty and acerbic dialogue.

It certainly hasn’t lost any of its humour and will delight and entertain a modern audience, as it has done since Coward first thought of it all those years ago in Shanghai!