Private Lives – August 2008

8/10

By Noel Coward

Directed by Chris Jordan

Venue: Connaught Theatre

Date: Saturday 23rd August 2008

This was a very enjoyable production of a classic play. The cast were well balanced, and apart from not being able to hear Elyot so well when his voice dropped, I found it a very clear performance. The sets were good, and the audience slightly better than last time.

Perhaps not surprisingly after a week at the RSC Summer School, which culminated with a visit from some of the actors doing The Taming Of The Shrew, I saw for the first time connections between this play and Shakespeare’s. I could see Petruchio and Kate in Elyot and Amanda, while Bianca and Lucentio are reflected by Sybil and Victor. This idea was prompted by Elyot asking Sybil if she’s trying to control him, if she’s planning to manage their lives together while appearing to be all sweetness and light. It’s unusual for me to link Shakespeare and Coward in this way, but not unprofitable. The insight didn’t add to my enjoyment of the performance, but I did enjoy the extra views along the way.

© 2008 Sheila Evans at ilovetheatre.me

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