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Noel Coward's Private Lives


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Private Lives proves that relentless, bold and sophisticated humour never goes out of fashion.  Therry Dramatic Society’s delectably wicked, riotously entertaining and disgracefully funny, production of Noel Coward’s frothiest light-comedy, is a real charmer. The play’s mature, politically incorrect and peculiarly astute and although the plot is frivolous the sheer outrageousness of the farce makes it succeed.

Often theatre can be so hyped that no matter how good a performance it is, it can’t live up to expectations. This play is an exception. No matter how much hyperbole is thrown, this is an irreverent, demented and sophisticated pleaser that guarantees to make people howl like banshees with laughter, just like the rest of the audience.

Coward’s writing is filled with high-spirited vitality and comic audacity yet it contains a bitter-sweet heart that emanates from its two leading characters.  Amanda (Dianne K Lang) and Elyot (John Koch) are a divorced couple who accidently meet while on honeymoon with their new spouses and discover that their passion is reignited.  In short order, Elyot and Amanda abandon their spouses Sybil (Alison Scharber) and Victor (Brad Martin) as the impetuous pair run off to Amanda’s Parisian apartment.

The rest of the story is predictable and the play lives and dies by how funny each of the characters make every individual scene. Lang and Koch are reliably enchanting and prove capable foils for each other’s tirades.

This production is splendidly amusing and offers almost two hours of comic enjoyment that confirms Coward’s script is still full of fresh chic despite being 83 years-old.

Private Lives is on at the Arts Theatre until August 31. Tickets here.

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