Private Lives is a perfectly structured play that lays out over three acts the feisty yet loving relationship between Amanda and Elyot. Cattrall is Amanda and Gross is Elyot. Divorced from each other for five years, they unexpectedly meet up again at the start of the play when they discover that each other is on their second honeymoon in the South of France and they just happen to have adjoining balconies at the same hotel. Their three year marriage was a stormy one of fights, feuds, trust issues and all out passion, with passion being the key. It is no wonder that when each of them sees each other again, and realizes that there is still something between them and that the individuals they just got married to are poor examples of their first spouse, that they decide to run away together. They are the ultimate example of a couple that can't live without each other and also can't live with each other.
|Paul Gross and Kim Cattrall|
|Kim Cattrall and Simon Paisley Day|
The two new spouses, Victor (Simon Paisley Day) and Sybil (Anna Madeley) are interesting in that for this version it is clear that they aren't exactly equals to Amanda and Elyot. Sybil is portrayed as a silly young woman and Victor as a stern Englishmen. While it does seem that Amanda could possibly be in love with Victor, I never once felt that Elyot was actually in love with Sybil. This is no fault to either Day or Madeley, as they are obviously performing the parts as directed. However it would have been nice to see these parts portrayed as almost equals to the leads so that there was not only an actual rationale in who Amanda and Elyot picked for their second spouses but also more of a sense of loss for running away and leaving them behind. For example, in the original UK and Broadway productions, Laurence Olivier played Victor. No matter what, Day and Madeley are absolutely perfect in the parts, and are each given plenty to show off what they are capable of.
|Paul Gross and Anna Madeley|
Coward's song "Someday I'll Find You," which he wrote for the play, is nicely used throughout to add a nice element to the show. I especially liked how it is one of the first things that draws Amanda and Elyot back together on the balcony when they hear a band playing it off in the distance and also a way for them to reconnect with Gross playing it on the piano and Cattrall singing the lyrics, once they've run away to Paris.
The sets and costumes by Rob Howell are gorgeous with the Paris apartment set a beautiful art deco extravaganza including a very inventive fish tank. David Howe's lighting provides beautiful moonlight in the first act balcony scene as well as both romantic evening lighting in act two and the stark reality brightness of the morning in the third act after everyone meets up again and has to face the cost of their actions.
Official Show Site