Photo by Aubrey Reuben
Private Lives finds Rickman and Duncan playing brittle, witty lovers who wreak havoc on the lives of the people around them. The play famously begins with the best-known balcony scene since Romeo and Juliet, as Elyot and Amanda, once husband and wife, meet unexpectedly on the first nights of their respective honeymoons. It only takes a few martinis and some potent cheap music from the hotel orchestra to send the couple speeding away from their new spouses and toward a flat in Paris. This Private Lives, a transfer from London's Albery Theatre, is directed by Howard Davies.