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Private Lives, Titchfield Festival Theatre, St Margaret's Arts
ELLIOT and Amanda, upperclass, mature and divorced, unknowingly share a balcony in a French hotel where they are both honeymooning with their new, young spouses.
After the initial shock, Amanda and Elliot realise they are still madly in love with each other and escape together to Paris, followed by their superfluous partners, with comical consequences.
Amy Manwaring (Elliot’s new wife, Sybil) and Georgie Gulliford (Amanda) gave strong performances as the feisty, independent women who know how to manipulate their men with histrionics and feminine wiles, particularly Manwaring whose accent, mannerisms and style seemed to leap straight from roaring 1920s Society. Kevin Frazer’s Elliot was reminiscent of a Coward performance with great comic timing and characterisation.
A few stumbles stalled the otherwise slick pace, but these should smooth out over the run and the production (enhanced by a good set, great costumes and background music) deserves larger audiences.