Passions clash in Noël Coward’s Private Lives at the Belgrade Theatre
Strong passions and even stronger personalities will collide in a new production of Noël Coward’s most popular and enduring stage comedy at the Belgrade Theatre this April. Sparkling with Coward’s signature wit and quick-fire dialogue, Private Lives sets the stage for a classic battle of the sexes when an unexpected encounter between two honeymooning couples unravels a tangled romantic history.
1930, Deauville, France. Two newly-married couples occupy adjoining honeymoon suites in the same hotel. As a distant orchestra plays, Sibyl gazes adoringly at her charismatic husband Elyot, while Victor admires his new wife, the vivacious and sophisticated Amanda.
Champagne flows and the sea shimmers in the moonlight as the newlyweds prepare for the evening ahead. But when Amanda overhears a familiar voice singing a forgotten song, an old spark reignites, with spectacular consequences.
Since opening to packed houses at London’s Phoenix Theatre in August 1930, Private Lives has retained its remarkable appeal, captivating audiences all over the world. Now London Classic Theatre brings its jazz age glamour to the Main Stage at the Belgrade, returning to Coventry following acclaimed productions of The Birthday Party (2016) and Absent Friends (2015). Brand new for 2018, this latest tour from LCT is directed by Michael Cabot with design by Frankie Bradshaw and lighting by Andy Grange.
Gareth Bennett-Ryan stars in the show as Elyot Chase, rejoining London Classic Theatre following his previous appearance as Stanley Webber in the 2016 production of The Birthday Party. His other theatre credits include The History Boys, Macbeth (Colchester Mercury), Farm Boy (New Perspectives), As You Like It, Macbeth (Shakespeare’s Globe), Much Ado About Nothing, Antony and Cleopatra (Cambridge Shakespeare Festival), Sons of Bond (Theatre Royal Haymarket).
Also returning to the company as Sibyl Chase is Olivia Beardsley, who appeared in LCT’s 2016 production of The Collector. Previous credits include Brimstone & Treacle (Hope Theatre), Secret Santa (Arts Theatre), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Centennial Park Open Air, Sydney), Charcoal Creek (Merrigong Theatre Company, Australia).
Following her role as Gwendolen Fairfax in LCT’s 2012-13 tour of The Importance of Being Earnest, Helen Keeley will play Amanda Prynne in Private Lives. Credits include: The Picture of Dorian Gray (Trafalgar Studios & UK Tour), YapYapYap (Battersea Arts Centre), Half (Southwark Playhouse), Perfect Wedding, The Late Edwina Black (Sheringham Rep), To The End (Southwark Playhouse), Jane Eyre (Rosemary Branch Theatre), The Cherry Orchard (DogOrange Productions), A Summer Day’s Dream (Finborough Theatre).
Taking on the role of Victor Prynne is Paul Sandys, who played Sloane LCT’s 2014 production of Entertaining Mr Sloane and Jack Worthing in The Importance of Being Earnest. Other theatre includes: Dr Longitude’s Marvellous Imaginary Menagerie (Les Enfants Terribles), Peter Pan (The New Vic Theatre), Out of the Sun (The New Actors Company).
Completing the cast as Louise is Rachael Holmes-Brown, who played Anna in LCT’s 2017 production of Hysteria. Previous theatre credits include: Dick Whittington Meets Top Cat, A Christmas to Remember (UK Tours), My Fair Lady, Still Life, The Sound of Music (Riverside Australia), A Streetcar Named Desire (Courtyard Theatre).
Private Lives runs at the Belgrade Theatre, Coventry from Thursday 19 until Saturday 21 April. Tickets are available to book now by calling the box office on 024 7655 3055, or visiting www.belgrade.co.uk where prices are even cheaper.