PRIVATE LIVES Comes to the Roman Theatre St Albans

Performances run June 5th to September 6th.

By: Jun. 06, 2023
PRIVATE LIVES Comes to the Roman Theatre St Albans

Adam Nichols, the Artistic Director of OVO directs a sparkling new production of PRIVATE LIVES, Noël Coward’s legendary 1930 comedy of manners at the Roman Theatre this summer.

Nichols’ production casts OVO stars Emma Wright and Mat Betteridge (David Eldridge’s Beginning and Middle at the Maltings Theatre last year), as the sparring ex-partners Elyot and Amanda.

Private Lives is simultaneously fast paced, hilarious, dark, witty and will have Roman Theatre audiences buzzing with Coward’s razor-sharp observations of human behaviour and what happens when love is slap bang in the middle of it all.  

“I think Private Lives is one of the great plays of the 20th century,” says Adam.  “Like much of Coward’s work Private Lives is very funny but it also contains some dark, profound moments and beautifully drawn three-dimensional characters.”

The Roman Theatre presentation will feature live music with a specially commissioned score from OVO’s regular Musical Director, Tomas Cagnoni, inspired by Coward’s song, ‘Some Day I’ll Find You’ which he composed specifically for the play.

“We choose plays for the Roman Theatre that actually take place outside,” continues Adam, “and Private Lives fits the bill perfectly, particularly with the setting of Act 1 on the balcony of a hotel in Deauville, France.  We have a very strong cast alongside Emma and Mat; Roman Theatre audiences will recognise Charlie Clee as Victor who played Demetrius in last year’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ and Jack in ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ and we have two brilliant OVO newcomers joining the cast: Grace Bassett who plays Sybil and Josephine Rattigan who plays Louise.”

Glamorous, rich and reckless, Elyot and Amanda were once married.

Now honeymooning with new spouses at the same hotel in the South of France, they meet by chance across adjoining hotel balconies.  They are horrified…then fascinated…and before long they’re sharing cocktails and serenades. 
Caring nothing for scandal, they elope to Amanda’s Paris apartment but after days of being reunited, they again find their fiery romance alternating between extremes of love and anger.

Are they destined for a life together, or are their passions just too strong to contain?

The Roman Theatre offers a comfortable and welcoming environment for all audiences.  A new hilltop bar offers competitively priced drinks and snacks and plentiful seating affords glorious views over the theatre site and the Ver Valley.




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