Pacy play’s plot of marital misfits stands test of time

Private Lives at Blackpool Grand Theatre
Private Lives at Blackpool Grand Theatre
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Private lives was written by Noel Coward in 1930 and in classic Coward style the lives of the idle rich become fully fledged in this play that stands the test of time.

The script and pace of acting moves at breakneck speed and sometimes the audience strains to keep up with the dialogue, although humour still prevails.

Director Michael Cabot displays the four actors in some very riotous moments, keeping Coward sophistication and apathy, portraying the dysfunctional relationships, with humour in scenes that today would be seen as domestic violence.

Passion, romance, anger and love, feature in this battle of the sexes. Divorcees Amanda and Elyot (Helen Keeley and Jack Hardwick) are thrown together, in adjoining rooms while on honeymoon with their new spouses, Sybil and Victor, played by (Olivia Beardsley and Kieran Blackledge).

Amanda and Elyot escape together believing they’re still in love, recklessly fleeing to her Parisian apartment, but after a few days of passion they start bickering - doomed to not being able to live with or without each other - before being found by their respective new partners.

Coward’s cartoonish caricature of marital misfits does however show us the pitfalls of married life as well as the joys.

Private LIVES

Grand Theatre, Blackpool

Until Saturday

01253 290190