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Private Lives - Full Length Play, Comedy

Private Lives

Noël Coward

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Full Length Play, Comedy

2m, 3f

ISBN: 9780573619250

"Gorgeous, dazzling, fantastically funny." - The New York Times
"A gleaming and gleeful comedy." - The New York Post

"A brilliant comedy. A very funny play." - Newsweek

More Information Below:

Description | Characters | Author | Now Playing | Reviews | Related Products
: Acting Edition
: Large Print
: Stage Manager

Minimum Fee: $100 per performance


Full Length Play


Time Period - 1930s

Settings Of Play -

Paris, France


Interior Set

Period Costumes


Adult, Senior, Pre-Teen (Age 11 - 13), Teen (Age 14 - 18)


High School/Secondary, College Theatre / Student, Community Theatre, Dinner Theatre, Professional Theatre, Reader's Theatre, Large Stage

Revived in 2002 by the Royal National Theatre in a production that sparkled on Broadway, Private Lives is one of the most sophisticated, entertaining plays ever written. Elyot and Amanda, once married and now honeymooning with new spouses at the same hotel, meet by chance, reignite the old spark and impulsively elope. After days of being reunited, they again find their fiery romance alternating between passions of love and anger. Their aggrieved spouses appear and a roundelay of affiliations ensues as the women first stick together, then apart, and new partnerships are formed. A uniquely humorous play boasting numerous successful Broadway runs with stars like Coward himself, Laurence Olivier, Tallulah Bankhead, Gertrude Lawrence, Tammy Grimes, Richard Burton, and Elizabeth Taylor.

"Gorgeous, dazzling, fantastically funny." - The New York Times

"A gleaming and gleeful comedy." - The New York Post

"A brilliant comedy. A very funny play." - Newsweek

Private Lives premiered at the King's Theatre in Edinburgh on 18 August, 1930.


2m, 3f






Noël Coward

Noël Coward

Sir Noël Peirce Coward (1899-1973) was an English playwright, composer, director, actor and singer, known for his wit, flamboyance, and what Time magazine called "a sense of personal style, a combination of cheek and chic, pose and poise." Born in Teddington, a suburb of London, Mr. Coward attended a dance academy in London as a child, making his professional stage début at the age of eleven. As a ... view full profile

Now Playing
Joshua Brown 12/1/2013 11:08 AM
PRIVATE LIVES demonstrates all the quick wit audiences have come to expect from Coward’s work, while exploring a portrait of love in a particularly savage light.
As ex-lovers Amanda Prynne and Elyot Chase find themselves both honeymooning with their new spouses at the same hotel in France, old resentments quickly fan the fires of an old flame. Always lively, Coward’s script is filled to the brim with clever barbs and witty retorts as Amanda and Elyot bounce back and forth between a state of passionate infatuation and ferocious hostility. Caught in their path are their current spouses, a bubbly young bride named Sibyl and an aging old louse named Victor, who do their best to hold their own against Amanda and Elyot’s inescapable squabbles.
Not only is it always amusing to watch such volatile characters set against one another, but there also seems to be a more serious examination of romance resting beneath PRIVATE LIVE’S farcical surface. Coward seems especially interested in the destructive nature of love in a world that expects etiquette and order. This is a comedy that explores love in all its chaotic, irrational unpredictability and manages to make sense out of something senseless. Definitely a classic within the genre.

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