On the 9th of November 2021, I was lucky enough to get the chance to watch ‘Private Lives’ at Richmond theatre. The cast included some famous faces that you may know, Patricia Hodge as Amanda (well known for playing the mum in Miranda) and Nigel Havers (playing Elyot), who you may know from ‘Coronation Street’.

The stage is first set with a beautiful hotel front in all white, the perfect hotel for a honeymoon… Or maybe not. Amanda and Elyot’s honeymoons were about to get ruined – by one another. Amanda and Elyot are now both in their second marriages, with their previous one being to each other. When they end up in opposite rooms with their respective partners, its no surprise that they spot each other, and when they do; chaos ensues.

Amanda and Elyot fall madly back in love, and they run away from their spouses and go to live in Amanda’s flat in Paris but don’t worry, this is no shallow romance. What ensues is a caricature of a relationship, the highs and the lows are seen under a magnifying glass, and they are made huge. The good times are divine, and the bad times are horrific. The relationship goes from ‘There’s no doubt anywhere {that I love you},’ to ‘I hate you!’ So, it was certainly never boring.

Throughout the play there was a hilarious parallel to Amanda and Elyot’s relationship, in the form of their spouses – Sibyl and Victor (played by Natalie Walter and Duglard Bruce-Lockhart). They are almost the exact opposites of Amanda and Elyot and comedically mirror the stereotypes of their societal roles at the time. Sibyl was hilariously shallow and infantile which Natalie Walter performed amazingly to create – in my opinion – some of the funniest moments in the play. Whilst Victor was gallant and manly with no hint of emotion and a huge ego which was brought to life by Bruce-Lockhart’s great acting.

I won’t spoil the end for you, but believe me, it is comedy gold. It includes records exploding, vases smashing and an almost-but-not-quite fight scene, it symbolizes the breaking point of any relationship that ‘can’t last forever’.

Although I was surrounded by an audience of mostly over sixties, I would strongly recommend this play to anyone my age, I’m a teenager myself and I can state from experience that as young people, we are no strangers to the ups and downs of human relationships when love and hate are involved. In fact – some of the comedic value of the play for me was down to the fact that I could see my peers and fellow teenagers reflected in these grown adults I saw on stage and their topsy-turvy relationships that I know all too well, never end in success.