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I really enjoyed this production, Annalise Carter-Brown always gets an edgy slant on her productions, and the cast carried this through, making it refreshingly different.

The set was good – particularly Act 1 – I loved the Art Deco look, and the effect of the balcony, which was used well to accommodate the action.  I didn’t like the darker red doors in the apartment, for me they were too stark for the style of the set.

Costumes were good throughout – lovely to see the men in good fitting suits, and the ladies in delightful dresses etc, that really suited both the person and the character.

I could see what effect the lighting was supposed to have when the actors were uplit in Act 1– but for me their faces were too much in shadow, which was a shame, as it tended to mask expressions, and a lot of the meaning was portrayed via facial expression.

There was more humour in this production than I remember, some really good laughs, and as in the Director’s notes, some of them guilty – I’m sure many people recognised aspects of their feelings in the words – always full of depth but also somehow light and fluffy where Coward is concerned.  Very evocative of the times both in style and acting aspect.

Jaymes Sygrove created the character of Elyot well – getting the element of the dominant male that caused a lot of the humour, and there were some lovely and loving touches to his portrayal, along with a waspish element and loved the hard-hitting arguments with both Amanda and Victor.  Jaymes also got the accent and attitude of a man of the time

I loved the way Leanne Lyndsey White created the stand-offish but eager Amanda – her turn round in feelings from Victor to Elyot was very well done, and she was very elegant, but also vivacious.  A good and striking interpretation that blended well with the other actors.

Megan Clarke created a naive but charming Sybil, she obviously puts a lot of thought into her portrayals, and this was no exception.  Sybil’s relationship with Elyot was that of an innocent but strangely mature young lady – which matched Victor in a way, but contrasted well with the more knowing Amanda, and the rather dashing Elyot.

I thought Anthony Bird gave Victor a good character, but felt he seemed a little too young and innocent in his perspective on Victor, compared with the other actors.  That said – I liked what he achieved on the whole, and enjoyed the interaction and fight with Elyot.

The final cast member was Sarah Payne as Louise the maid – she delivered the French dialogue well, and added much humour to the part, which helped create a much-needed contrast to the angst and emotion of the two couples.

Once again the Rep delivered up an interesting, amusing and slightly more edgy version of Private Lives, which was very enjoyable.

Dunstable Rep


review date: 25th November 2015

Little Theatre, Dunstable

Director:  Annalise Carter-Brown  


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