Top positive review
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If there was only one Noel Coward play...
on 2 June 2001
"If he comes near me, I shall scream the place down!" proclaims Elyot Chase, who quite by chance meets his ex wife Amanda Prynne as they are both desperately trying to enjoy their second honeymoons, quite by chance, in adjacent bedrooms in France. Their respective spouses haven't realised stickiness of the situation, as Amanda and Elyot quickly rekindle their passion for each other and take off for Paris. The pipe smoking Victor Prynne and piano playing Sibyl Chase are left behind bewilderedly licking each other's wounds.
Elyot and Amanda's tense and volatile relationship swings violently from sickeningly loving to expertly aggresive in the course of their reunion. The somewhat lost and confused Sybil and Victor then arrive at Amanda's Paris flat, with reconciliation and living happily ever after set fast in their minds.
After each member in the menage a quatre almost trips over the maid, the vesuvius that is the situation erupts. Madness, near-violence, French, and plopping are all guarenteed.
Private Lives is Noel Coward at his best. Coward himself was very fond of this 'good little play' even if he did have to 'hit Larry Olivier on the head to get him to play Victor Prynne.' If you are looking for an introduction to the genius of Noel Coward's writing, then this is the best starting point. If an established Coward fan then this is a vital addition to your collection.
Read it, buy it, play it - it cannot be ignored!