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First look: Noël Coward’s Private Lives at Pitlochry Festival Theatre

The cast of Private Lives Photo by Fraser Band
The cast of Private Lives Photo by Fraser Band

First pictures have been revealed for Pitlochry Festival Theatre’s new revival of Noël Coward ‘s classic comedy Private Lives.

The production opened this week at Pitlochry Festival where it runs to 30 September.

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On the cast are Tom Richardson (The Prince and the Pauper, New Vic Theatre) and Nalân Burgess (Welcome to Iran, Royal National Theatre and Theatre Royal Stratford East) as Elyot and Sibyl Chase; Marc Small (Barefoot in the Park, Pitlochry Festival Theatre) and Amelia Donkor (As You Like It and The Taming of the Shrew, Royal Shakespeare Company and Eastenders, BBC) as Victor and Amanda Prynne; and Deirdre Davis (Eileen Donachie in River City, BBC Scotland and the films Orphans and Get Duked) as Louise.

Tom Richardson Elyot Chase and Amelia Donkor Amanda Prynne Photo by Fraser Band
Tom Richardson Elyot Chase and Amelia Donkor Amanda Prynne Photo by Fraser Band
Tom Richardson Elyot Chase and Amelia Donkor Amanda Prynne Photo by Fraser Band
Tom Richardson Elyot Chase and Amelia Donkor Amanda Prynne Photo by Fraser Band
Tom Richardson Elyot Chase Nalan Burgess Sybil Chase in Private Lives
Tom Richardson Elyot Chase Nalan Burgess Sybil Chase in Private Lives

Coward’s classic comedy of manners follows Elyot Chase and his second wife, Sibyl, honeymooning on the French Riviera when he discovers that his first wife, Amanda Prynne, and her second husband, Victor, have the room next to theirs. Their initial horror disappears as, within no time at all, they’re sharing cocktails, a romantic serenade and rekindling their previous passion.

Caring nothing for scandal, they elope to Amanda’s Paris flat where their lust thaws as quickly as it had reignited, and they resume the slanging match which drove them apart in the first place.

Written in only three days, Private Lives, remains Coward’s greatest success and the play that marked the peak of his career. First performed on 18 August 1930 at the King’s Theatre in Edinburgh, as part of the Edinburgh International Festival, featuring Noël Coward and Laurence Olivier in the cast, Private Lives is a masterpiece of 1930s high comedy, full of razor-sharp wit and sparkling dialogue, and remains one of the most sophisticated, entertaining plays ever written, offering an evening of acutely sharp, divinely decadent, and unashamed humour.

Tom Richardson Elyot Chase and Amelia Donkor Amanda Prynne Photo by Fraser Band
Tom Richardson Elyot Chase and Amelia Donkor Amanda Prynne Photo by Fraser Band
The cast of Private Lives Photo by Fraser Band
The cast of Private Lives Photo by Fraser Band

Previously performed at Pitlochry Festival Theatre in 1960, 1978 and 1989, Private Lives is directed by the Theatre’s Associate Director Amy Liptrott.

For more information and tickets, visit www.pitlochryfestivaltheatre.com


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