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Hamptons Life

May 17, 2019 2:01 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Hampton Theatre Company Serves Up 'Private Lives' As Final Show Of 2018-19 Season

May 20, 2019 10:45 AM

The setting: A London hotel in 1930. The characters: Two couples, Elyot and Sybil, and Victor and Amanda. Both couples are on their honeymoon, but as fate would have it, Elyot and Amanda were actually previously married to one another.

“Private Lives,” long considered one of Noël Coward’s masterpieces, opens at the Quogue Community Hall on Thursday, May 23, as the fourth and final play of the Hampton Theatre Company’s (HTC) 2018-2019 season. The play offers a sidesplitting look at the volatile chemistry that can draw couples together, or split them apart. Full of wit and wisdom, when the paths of formerly married Elyot and Amanda cross, the old sparks fly and the two impulsively run away to Paris, only to wonder a few days later whether love, jealousy or anger is the hotter passion.

The prodigiously gifted Coward sketched out “Private Lives” in his head over the course of two weeks while recuperating from the flu. He wrote the script in four days. The first production, in 1930 in London, starred the playwright himself in the role of Elyot, his longtime co-star Gertrude Lawrence as Amanda, and a young Laurence Olivier as Amanda’s stuffy new husband, Victor Prynne.The cast of “Private Lives” features five HTC veterans: Andrew Botsford as Elyot; Rosemary Cline as Amanda; Matthew Conlon (fresh from his role as Cervantes/Quixote in HTC’s “Man of La Mancha”) as Victor; Rebecca Edana as Elyot’s new wife, Sybil; and Diana Marbury as Louise, the maid in Amanda’s Paris flat. The play is a reunion of sorts for Mr. Botsford, Ms. Cline, Mr. Conlon, and Ms. Edana, as all four worked together in last season’s final show, “Don’t Dress for Dinner.”

George Loizides directs the production. Set design is by Sean Marbury with lighting design by Sebastian Paczynski, sound by Seamus Naughton and costumes by Teresa Lebrun.

HTC’s production of “Private Lives” runs at the Quogue Community Hall from May 23 to June 9, with shows Thursdays and Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. An additional matinee will be offered on Saturday, June 8 at 2:30 p.m.

Special dinner theater packages are available in collaboration with the Westhampton, Southampton, Hampton Bays and Quogue libraries. Also offered in association with the Quogue Club at the Hallock House is a special lunch and theater package for the matinee on Saturday, June 8. For tickets or information, visit hamptontheatre.org. Information about library dinner and theater packages is also available through the libraries. Tickets are $30 for adults (less for seniors and students) and may also be purchased at OvationTix at 1-866-811-4111.

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