NOTE: This review is spoiler free!
So, last night (03/04/2018) was the first night that the comedy “Private Lives”, written in 1930 by Noel Coward, was performed at the Everyman Theatre in Cork. I wasn’t very sure what to expect. All I knew going in the door was the name and the genre! Regardless, I gave the play a chance. The plot of this worldwide hit is two divorcees honeymooning with their new spouses in north-west France, however unbeknownst to them, they are staying in suites side by side. From there, a tale of comical despair ensues as they discover each others’ presences and the feelings from their previous marriage still being very much alive.
The opening five minutes made an impression that set the tone for what kind of treat I was in for, and the kind of humour that was brought with it. The clash of personalities from the newlywed Sibyl and Elyot ensure that plenty of well timed comments, remarks and sarcastic jokes keep the audience in good humour. The comedic cycle continues when the other recently “happily” married couple staying in the suite adjacent has a similar way of dealing with their arguments. My first thoughts after the first act were that the dialogue was extremely well written, every sentence was placed perfectly in each conversation and had as much of an educative meaning to the play’s backstory as it did hilarious value. The four primary characters were also all portrayed incredibly well by their respective actors, the delivery of every single line would have been hard to improve upon.
My honest review of the performance last night is that I feel anybody who has a witty sense of humour similar to that which the protagonists have will thoroughly enjoy this play. I know from speaking to other spectators of the play that I am not the only person there who got a hearty laugh out of watching, I didn’t see one disappointed face leaving the theatre last night. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this play and would encourage you to give it a shot as I did!