Last night Whatsonstage.com theatre club members attended Noel Coward’s 1933 risqué love affair between three friends, Design for Living, at the Old Vic Theatre. Orignally banned by British censorships after its London premiere in 1939, Design for Living has caused waves after each performance. After 15 years away the show returns to London’s stages under the directions of Anthony Page and a fantastic cast including Tom Bourke, Andrew Scott, and Lisa Dillon. Design for Living held the audience’s attention for its entire two interval, three hour show. With three beautiful set changes designed by Lez Brotherston moving up from a Bohemian studio in Paris to a chic flat in London and finally settling in an exquisite penthouse in New York, the changes of the set brought on its own applause before the third act.

As the story unfolds, Gilda, an interior designer, playwright Leo and artist Otto tangle their friendship into an unconventional three way love affair. The hilarious situations that ensue from these affairs lead audience members to laugh out loud at the drunken scenes between the characters Leo and Otto, the conformity and conservativeness of the housekeeper Miss Hodge, and the outrageous speeches of passion and confessions by all the main characters. During the entire three hour show, the cast members did an outstanding job maintaining high energy to keep a quick and lively pace, forcing audience members to stay alert to the absurdity of their love dilemma.

Please feel free to email any thoughts and comments about the play to feedback@whatsonstage.com. We look forward to hearing from you. Thanks again for joining us for this event and please check the homepage for any future Outings.

- Laura Norman