This week I went to see Private Lives at the Theatre Royal in Glasgow. It had been a very, very long time since I last went to the theatre (the last thing I saw was Dr Faustus at the Citz in 2013… jeez). So I was really looking forward to this.
I don’t know a huge amount about Noel Coward, who wrote Private Lives, and I’ve not seen or read any of his other plays. I did know that it was about two divorces, running into each other on their honeymoons with their new partners. I had also heard that Coward had written it in only three days and that many people thought it was his best work.
I’d been invited along by Lord of the Moon, who said he might show up a bit early for a cup of tea in the cafe before the play started. I hadn’t been to The Theatre Royal before and although I was pretty sure I knew where it was I have a tendency to get lost so I set off early and ended up arriving early too.
I was so glad that I did because that gave me time to discover that the cafe in the Theatre Royal is Vanilla Black! I used to love Vanilla Black when it was based on Sauchiehall Street and I’ve missed it since that branch closed down. I had no idea there was one here. I ordered a coffee and ran into LotM just as I was sitting down with it. His other friends showed up not long after and we moved into the theatre.
LotM had secured us some fantastic seats in the stalls, only a couple of rows from the front and with a great view. The play quickly began, starting with a balcony scene and the new couples expressing to each other how happy they are to be there together – each with the divorcee being quizzed on their previous relationship, a little light bickering and dinner plans being made. It isn’t long before the divorcees notice that they have adjacent rooms and things go hilariously from there.
For me Tom Chambers, who played divorcee Elyot, stole the show. Laura Rogers also played a fantastic Amanda (Elyot’s ex wife). Apparently they’re from Strictly Come Dancing and Tipping the Velvet, respectively. I haven’t watched either, but they were great on stage.
The evening ended all too quickly and although there was an opportunity to stay for a Q&A I couldn’t begin to think of what to ask about and everyone seemed in a hurry to go catch buses and trains home (it was a school night, after all).
I’d forgotten how much I like the theatre. I noticed that a Becket play was showing at the Citizen’s theatre not long ago but I think I’ve probably missed it now. I’ll have to pay more attention to listings.