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Private Lives at The Grand Hotel for the Fringe, so good it might be sold out already

Venue: the Grand Hotel  

Promoter: Something Witty Theatre  


Facebook: Private Lives on Facebook

Private Lives, at The Grand

If I were you I’d pay attention to the ticket information, it says quite clearly dress code POSH. You wouldn’t want to get it wrong, would you? I mean, turn up in jeans, nobody could be that stupid.

If this blog was written in the style of Noel Coward’s play Private Lives, the blog might carry on in this manner, but imitation would not come close to the original so I won’t attempt it.

The writing, the performance, by the already award-winning SomethingWitty and the staging at The Grand of Noel Coward’s Private Lives was full of energy, movement and fun.

Although already familiar with Noel Coward through theatre and film, this was the first time I fully appreciated what a great playwright he really was. Despite the dated language, the characters came to life and the unfolding drama felt immediate and credible.

When a production works as successfully as this it is difficult to separate out the parts to establish what the foundation of its success is. The drama took place in the middle of a large elongated room at The Grand Hotel with the audience seated around three sides. If the acting had been unconvincing, the actors would have had nowhere to hide as the audience were seated so close to the action. Equally when the characters are credible this type of staging makes the overall affect more powerful, as in this case.

There are four main characters, played by Heather Rayment as Amanda, Daniel Lane as Elyot, Rebecca Cooper as Sibyl and Jason Blackwater as Victor, who all delivered strong performances.

I loved the costumes and the music, which to go back to the talented Noel Coward for a moment was written by him for this play. We were lucky enough to have two violinists Marie Goulding and Christine Cooper to bring the music to life.

Incidentally Coward devised the play over two weeks while he was convalescing and then wrote it up in four days (if Wikipedia is to be believed).

The rest of the audience seemed as delighted as I was and the actors received an enthusiastic applause.

As for my opening remark, please do dress appropriately, the play and the setting deserve it and I was most disappointed to miss an opportunity to wear my pearls.

Actually one more point, I was watching the interview of Dennis Waterman last night by the ever oleaginous Piers Morgan who was asking Waterman about his stormy relationship with Rula Lenska and it reminded me of Elyot and Amanda. Morgan with his limited emotional intelligence missed the point and was trying to pigeon hole Waterman as a wife beater when really he would do much better to come down to the Fringe, catch a performance of Private Lives and place his interviewee’s relationship in a context. Well, that’s what I think anyways.

Event Dates

Entrance fee: £17.00 (£15.00 concessions)

Book through Brighton Fringe

• 12 May 4:00 PM from £15.00 - £17.00

• 13 May 3:00 PM from £15.00 - £17.00

• 19 May 3:00 PM from £15.00 - £17.00

• 20 May 3:00 PM from £15.00 - £17.00

• 26 May 3:00 PM from £15.00 - £17.00

• 27 May 3:00 PM from £15.00 - £17.00

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