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Hampstead Revives Coward’s Private Lives???

We hear that Hampstead Theatre will be taking a short break from its new writing remit in the new year in order to revive Noel Coward’s classic 1929 comedy Private Lives. It may seem an odd choice, but in fact, there is a strong connection. In the 1960s, Hampstead’s founding artistic director James Roose-Evans presented a celebrated production of the play which became the theatre’s first West End transfer and resulted in what Coward himself, then in his 60s and out of fashion, referred to as “Dad’s renaissance”.

For the new production - directed by Lucy Bailey, whose previous Hampstead credits include Comfort Me With Apples, Glass Eels and Don’t Look Now - Claire Price, currently at the Menier Chocolate Factory in The White Devil, is signed up to play Amanda. No word yet on who will play her bickering ex-husband Elyot or the estranged couple’s new spouses who they dump on their honeymoons.

Private Lives was last mounted in the West End in 2001, in a multi award-winning Howard Davies production starring Lindsay Duncan and Alan Rickman, which subsequently transferred to Broadway.


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