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Today I had the utmost pleasure of attending the First table read/rehearsal of the Torch Theatre's upcoming autumn production of Noel Coward's "Private Lives", directed by their new Artistic Director Chelsey Gillard.

My first impression is that the play looks to be a delightful experience, filled with wonderful performances. From what I've seen so far, the beautiful art-deco neon set design and elegant costuming from Kevin Jenkins will transport audience members back to the decadent era of the 1930s.

The play follows the story of two ex-spouses, Elyot and Amanda, who coincidentally end up honeymooning with their new spouses Sybil and Victor in adjacent rooms at a French hotel. As the two former lovers reconnect, their passion reignites. The ensuing chaos, as well as the witty, dark, satirical dialogue of campiness fun are sprinkled throughout, which drew me in and kept me engaged from start to finish. Standout performances will follow from the four lead actors François Pandolfo (Elyot), Claire Cage (Amanda), Paisley Jackson (Sybil) and Jude Deeno (Victor) as each portray the complexity of their characters with skill and nuance which was truly remarkable.

The chemistry between the cast was undeniable, and their comedic timing was impeccable, providing a solid foundation for the play's humour and drama. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing an early look at the Torch Theatre's production of "Private Lives", I've always appreciated theatre but this has giving me a new insight and view into the creative process.

Director Chelsey Gillard injects a modern twist into Noel Cowards comedic masterpiece and once October arrives the result will certainly be a well-crafted evening of passionate laughter that'll leave the audience thoroughly satisfied. I highly recommend this production that's celebrating not just a marvellous directorial debut but also 125 years of Noël Coward to anyone who appreciates great theatre.

Private Lives runs from 4th October – 21st October tickets are available and members get 25% off up to four tickets.


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