Private Lives is a 1930 comedy of manners by Noël Coward . An immensely popular musical comedy originally written for Gertrude Lawrence, and produced in 1930 with Coward and Laurence Olivier. It was Coward's most enduringly successful work and is generally regarded as the high point of his career both commercially and artistically.
Performance history in South Africa
1947: Presented by the Brian Brooke Company in Muizenberg, Somerset West, Rondebosch, Paarl starring Cynthia Klette and Bob Courtney (as Victor, later replaced by Brian Brooke), directed by Petrina Fry. The season ended at the Hofmeyr Hall in Cape Town.
1953: Presented by the Port Elizabeth Amateur Theatre Guild.
1978: Directed by Peter Curtis for CAPAB, opening 28 February. Settings by Peter Krummeck, costumes Jennifer Craig, lighting John T. Baker. The cast included Helen Bourne (Amanda Prynne), John Whiteley (Elyot Chase), Mary Dreyer (Sybil Chase), Liz Dick (Louise, a maid) and Peter Cartwright (Victor Prynne).
1988: In 1988 the play was presented by Pieter Toerien, opening 18 March in the Leonard Rayne Theatre, starring Sandra Duncan, Philip Godawa, Vanessa Cooke, Neville Thomas and Eleni Cousins, directed by Robert Whitehead. At the National Arts Festival Sybil Chase was played by Gaynor Young. Subsequently presented by NAPAC Drama and Pieter Toerien at the Hexagon Theatre, Pietermaritzburg, and the Loft Theatre, Natal Playhouse, directed by Robert Whitehead, from 26 July.
2002: Staged by Pieter Toerien Productions at the Grahamstown Festival, directed by Maralin Vanrenen, with Suanne Braun (Amanda), Warren Kimmel (Elyot), Alexandra Bairnsfather Cloete (Sybil), James van Helsdingen (Victor) and Elise van Niekerk. Sets by Keith Anderson, costumes by Bronwyn Lovegrove and Margo Fleisch, lighting by Jannie Swanepoel (Louise). The same production was presented at the Montecasino Theatre in July 2002 and subsequently at Theatre on the Bay.
2013: Staged by the Claremont Dramatic Society in the Masque Theatre in Muizenberg, directed by John Carne, with Faeron Wheeler (Sybil), Dante Greeff (Elyot), Brandon Gregory (Victor), Liz Roodt (Amanda), Kim Randleff-Rasmussen, Helen Broekmann and Melissa Sanderson.
Translations and adaptations
Teater SA, 1(1), 1968.
NELM: [Collection: Rhodes University. Drama Department]: 2006. 6. 5. 19.
Brooke 1978. 164-5.
Private Lives theatre programmes, 1978 (CAPAB), 2002.
See How They Run theatre programme, 1988.
National Arts Festival programme, 1988. 58.
Tucker, 1997. 67, 182, 307.
EP Herald, 5 July 2002.
The Star, 22 July 2002.
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