Written by the prolific playwright, songwriter, and actor Noel Coward, Private Lives is a study in the madness of love. Centering on Elyot and Amanda, divorced but cheating on their new spouses with each other (and resurrecting a tempestuous relationship), it is the ultimate example of two people who can neither live with nor without one another. Get your Private Lives tickets today and observe the romantic absurdity live.
Private Lives Information
About the Show:
Private Lives is a scandalous comedy of manners by the legendary Noel Coward (Hay Fever, Present Laughter, Blithe Spirit). Because it focuses on divorcees who cheat on their new spouses with each other, it was almost censored for being too risque before its 1930 premiere at the Phoenix Theatre in London, but Coward eventually convinced censors that it could be done in a tasteful and dignified way. Aside from compelling characters engaged in fascinatingly absurd relationships, the play also features one of Coward's most famous songs, "Some Day I'll Find You."
To this day, Private Lives is a subject of study and debate. Some theorists have asserted that there are elements of gender role subversion that come as a result of Coward's own undiscussed homosexuality. Others have ascribed it as part of the theatre of the absurd, stating that the unconventional relationship between Amanda and Elyot is surreal because it is based on opposing emotions. Coward himself admitted that the play is "psychologically unstable."
Private Lives has been revived several times in London and on Broadway. In the 2011 Broadway revival, Kim Cattrall (Sex and the City) reprises her acclaimed West End performance as Amanda. Cattrall follows in the footsteps of great actresses like Maggie Smith (Harry Potter), Elaine Stritch (Company), and Elizabeth Taylor. Order your Private Lives tickets right away to see a truly classic play and witness for yourself just how ferociously contradictory love can be.
After a brief courtship, Elyot and Sybil are enjoying their honeymoon in a hotel in Deauville, France. Meanwhile, Amanda and Victor are also honeymooning in the next room. When Elyot and Amanda both step outside, they discover they are sharing a terrace--with their ex-spouse. After a stormy, three-year marriage, Elyot and Amanda divorced, and now, 5 years later, they have bumped into each other at quite the inopportune time. They both beg their new spouses to find other accommodations, but they refuse and storm off to dine alone. Left alone together, Elyot and Amanda rekindle their romance and run off to her Paris apartment.
One night a few days later, Elyot and Amanda fall back into the unhealthy, abusive patterns of their marriage. One minute, they are passionately embracing, and the next, they are arguing to the point of physical violence. As their most serious fight reaches a climax, Sybil and Victor walk in.
The next morning, Amanda is prevented from sneaking away when Sybil and Victor stop her. As they get to talking, Elyot comes in and begins fighting with Amanda yet again. The new spouses vow not to grant a divorce for at least a year, giving Amanda and Elyot time to figure out if they really want to be together. Soon, Sybil and Victor catch the bug and begin fighting with one another over their new spouses. When Amanda and Elyot realize that Sybil and Victor are behaving just like them, they make amends and sneak out, leaving just as their argument becomes violent.
Run Time:2 hours and 15 minutes with one intermission
Advisory:Recommended for late teens and older (adult themes, sexuality, violence)
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