Review: Private Lives, Silo Theatre
Private Lives is funny, real and sexy as hellBRIDGET JONES
REVIEW: This is the original rom-com. It's a simple statement that really does sum up Silo Theatre's new charge, Private Lives.
The man who once said "work is much more fun than fun", Sir Noel Coward, penned Private Lives in a night (or two) in 1929. The fact he was riddled with the flu at the time suggests perhaps he was experiencing futuristic hallucinations, because this is a story right from the screens of our laptops and iPads.
It's funny, it's real, and it's sexy as hell. In fact, before it was first staged it was deemed too racy by stuffy old Lord Chamberlain.
Of course there is a hint of that 1920's magic in the words and phrases thrown about on stage, but the tale of Elyot and Amanda is as modern as Dr Chris Warner and Rachel McKenna, if the Dr and his missus had met at a house party in Kumeu.
The pair were once deliriously, then miserably, married. It didn't work out, but you know how these things go. Now they have both found (something resembling) love again, life is calm and easy. Until - quelle horreur - they discover they are honeymooning next door to each other.
It's not a spoiler to say passion and lust soon take over from morals and those new wedding vows - but for how long?
This is a production with some rather impeccable casting. Matt Whelan is a revelation as the sarcastic, totally caddish Elyot. While he has toyed with "funny" on Go Girls and his recent film roles, Whelan is so wonderfully, darkly droll, all long arms and legs and pointed one-liners that you can't help but think he's been hiding a wonderful gift from us all this time.
And he is complimented perfectly by Mia Blake who simmers with naughtiness and knowing as Amanda. And boy, can the girl dance.
It is the hard-done-by, newly-minted spouses who deliver some of the finest moments, and Sophie Henderson as Sybil and Sam Sneddon as dear Victor are pathetically (and perfectly) hilarious in their attempts to keep, find and lose their partners - in that order.
And of course this is all played out under the clever, clever eye of director Shane Bosher, who has once again created something very special and ridiculously funny for Auckland theatre lovers. It's hard to remember a production that hits you with waves of giggles even the morning after, but Private Lives does exactly that.
There are some clear reasons why Private Lives has survived this long to remain one of the most relevant, smart, truly funny comedies. And Silo Theatre has jumped on every single one of them and proved time is no barrier to fits of hysterics.
WHAT: Private Lives
WHERE: Q, Auckland
WHEN: Runs until September 29
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