Private Lives, starring Nigel Havers, Patricia Hodge, Dugald Bruce-Lockhart, Natalie Walter and Georgia Goodman at the Ambassador Theatre, West End, is an absolute delight from start to finish. This classic Noel Coward play is brought to life with impeccable performances, stunning set design, and a perfect balance of wit and charm.
Nigel Havers (Elyot) and Patricia Hodge (Amanda) are a dream team on stage, effortlessly embodying the complex characters of Elyot Chase and Amanda Prynne. Their chemistry is palpable, and their comedic timing is impeccable. Havers brings a suave and debonair quality to Elyot, while Hodge exudes elegance and sophistication as Amanda. Likewise, Dugald Bruce-Lockhart (Victor) and Natalie Walker (Sybil). All together, they create dynamic and captivating cast that keeps the audience engaged throughout the entire performance with Louise (Georgia Goodman) playing the French maid with visual comedic expressions.
The set design (Simon Higlett) is simply breathtaking. The luxurious and opulent 1930s Parisian apartment is meticulously recreated, transporting the audience back in time. The attention to detail is remarkable, from the elegant furniture to the exquisite art deco accents. The set truly enhances the overall experience and adds an extra layer of authenticity to the production.
Noel Coward's script is a masterpiece, and this production does it justice. The dialogue is sharp, witty, and filled with clever wordplay. The banter between the characters is fast-paced and hilarious, keeping the audience laughing throughout. The play also explores deeper themes of love, marriage, and the complexities of human relationships, adding depth and substance to the comedic elements.
The direction by Christopher Luscombe is superb. He manages to strike the perfect balance between the comedic and dramatic moments, ensuring that the play flows seamlessly. The pacing is spot-on, and the energy on stage is infectious. Christopher's vision for the production is evident in every aspect, and his attention to detail is commendable.
Private Lives at the Ambassador Theatre is a must-see for any theatre lover. Nigel Havers and Patricia Hodge deliver outstanding performances, the set design is stunning, and the direction is flawless. This production captures the essence of Noel Coward's play and brings it to life in a way that is both entertaining and thought-provoking. Don't miss the opportunity to experience this theatrical gem.
5 stars out of 5 and a master class in acting.
Reviewer Mark Bilsby.
On until 25th November 2023