Thursday, 18 July 2013

Private Lives


Last Saturday I was lucky enough to wander down to the Gielgud Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue to see a performance of Noël Coward's "Private Lives" with my mum. The sun was shining, depicting how stunning London can be when the weather gives it half a chance. The play stars Toby Stephens and Anna Chancellor and is a wonderful play.

This is how it is described on the theatre's website: "Elyot (Toby Stephens) and Amanda (Anna Chancellor) are glamorous, rich, reckless... and divorced. Five years later, their love for one another is unexpectedly rekindled when they take adjoining suites of a French hotel while honeymooning with their new spouses Victor (Anthony Calf) and Sibyl (Anna-Louise Plowman). This chance encounter instantly reignites their passion and they fling themselves headlong into a whirlwind of love and lust once more, without a thought for partners present or turbulences past."

It is no secret that I adore going to the theatre; as I have no doubt I've made evident by often writing about it on here whenever I go. I've previously seen Toby Stephens in "The Real Thing" by Tom Stoppard and Anna Chancellor in "The Browning Version" by Terence Rattigan, both of which I thought they were impeccable in. However, I had no idea that they would be so impressive when acting together.

The play was absolutely hilarious and although it is likely that that is mainly down to Coward's excellent writing, I truly believe that Anna Chancellor and Toby Stephens' quality of acting and on-stage relationship made it all the more hilarious to watch. I had never heard of this play before I went to see it but I already desperately want to go again, it is not only a comedy that genuinely had me crying with laughter throughout, it also touches on more profound ideas such as the difficulty of love and unhealthy relationships if you read between the lines of what is portrayed on stage.

[source here]

I believe this play must incredibly significant to Toby Stephens as his mother and father (Maggie Smith and Robert Stephens) played the protagonists in 1972 (as you can see in the picture above), which I found very interesting to discover as Smith went to watch it recently. "Private Lives" lead me to think about the highs and lows of relationships and how fascinating I find the way in which humans interact with one another. The plot is excellent and believable, the script is flawless and hilarious, and the acting could not have been more stunning. It was a lovely day out, and if you get the chance to go to see it yourself, don't think twice.

I'm going to Wales for a week with my best friends on Saturday which I am immensely looking forward to so I doubt I'll blog until I get back, I hope you all have a lovely time whatever you're doing in this beautiful weather while I'm gone!

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