Review: Private lives, Theatre Royal, until September 16

Private Lives at the Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds. Picture: SHEILA BURNETT

Private Lives at the Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds. Picture: SHEILA BURNETT - Credit: Archant

Noel Coward once said: “I love criticism just so long as it’s unqualified praise.” So he would almost certainly approve of this review of London Classic Theatre’s touring production of Private Lives.

Set in 1930s France, the sophisticated comedy features a wealthy divorced couple who each marry again only to find themselves in adjoining rooms while on honeymoon with their new spouses.

Old passions re-ignited, they run away together only to discover the relationship is as destructive as ever.

Romance, regret, lust and violence ensues culminating in a final scene that demonstrates the somewhat fine line between love and hate.

Passion is passion after all.

The pure elegance and wit of Coward’s work is captured perfectly by the charismatic cast of four - with their clipped tones and perfect timing - and beautiful staging, stylish costumes and delicate background music simply complete the scene.

A wonderfully compact play that moves at a breathless pace and is packed with Coward’s trademark quick-fire dialogue and personality - the audience loved it.

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