Private Lives

by  Noël Coward

Full Length Play, Comedy  /  2m, 3f

"Gorgeous, dazzling, fantastically funny." - The New York Times

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Private Lives

by  Noël Coward

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    2m, 3f
  • Duration

    Duration

    120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Period
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    From Broadway, From West End
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult
    • Senior
    • Pre-Teen (Age 11 - 13)
    • Teen (Age 14 - 18)

Additional Info

Revived in 2002 by the Royal National Theatre in a production that sparkled on Broadway, Private Lives is one of the most sophisticated, entertaining plays ever written. Elyot and Amanda, once married and now honeymooning with new spouses at the same hotel, meet by chance, reignite the old spark and impulsively elope. After days of being reunited, they again find their fiery romance alternating between passions of love and anger. Their aggrieved spouses appear and a roundelay of affiliations ensues as the women first stick together, then apart, and new partnerships are formed. A uniquely humorous play boasting numerous successful Broadway runs with stars like Coward himself, Laurence Olivier, Tallulah Bankhead, Gertrude Lawrence, Tammy Grimes, Richard Burton, and Elizabeth Taylor.
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Reviews

"Gorgeous, dazzling, fantastically funny." - The New York Times
"A gleaming and gleeful comedy." - The New York Post

"A brilliant comedy. A very funny play." - Newsweek

Keywords

Betrayal, Love, Marriage

Considerations

License details

  • Minimum Fee: £85 per performance plus VAT when applicable.

    Please submit a license request to determine availability.

Production

Details

  • Time Period: 1930s
  • Duration: 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Setting: A balcony, a living-room

Casting

2m, 3f
M2 (30 ) F3 (young, 30)

ELYOT CHASE- A handsome, thirtyish man. 
AMANDA PRYNNE- Elyot’s first wife, newly married to Victor Prynne. She is the most vivacious character in the work. She is not only beautiful but also spirited, independent, and unconventional—a fit partner for Elyot.
SIBYL CHASE- Elyot’s blonde, attractive, twenty-three-year-old bride. Conventional, unimaginative, and innocent, she is Amanda’s antithesis and suggests the playwright’s dim view of the “nice” English girl. 
VICTOR PRYNNE- A handsome man a few years older than Elyot. Stuffy and stodgy, he lacks a sense of humor. 
LOUISE- Amanda’s French-speaking maid. Her inability to speak English and her incomprehension of the bizarre occurrences in the apartment provide a number of laughs.
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Resources

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Authors

Noël Coward

Sir Noël Peirce Coward (1899-1973) was an English playwright, composer, director, actor and singer, known for his wit, flamboyance, and what Time magazine called "a sense of personal style, a combination of cheek and chic, pose and poise." Born in Teddington, a suburb of London, Mr. Coward attended a dance academy in L ...

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