|Booking From:||Friday, 3rd September 2010|
|Booking Until:||Saturday, 27th November 2010|
|Matinees:||Wednesday and Saturday 2.30pm|
|Evenings:||Monday to Saturday 7.30pm|
|Running Time:||120 minutes|
Noel Coward's controversial 1933 play was banned when it was first produced. It is great to see it return to the London stage for the first time in 15 years as it deserves to be remembered as one of his best. Lez Brotherstons striking set is lit beautifully by David Hersey, giving the production a cool, sleek feel and with Coward's devastating wit in full flow here, Anthony Page's new production is a sure fire hit.
The play centers on a ménage à trois: Gilda, an interior decorator, Leo, a playwright and Otto a painter, shuttle between Paris, London and New York loving life, success and each other in their own uniquely decadent way. This continues until Gilda becomes dependent on a successful art dealer (morally upright and uptight Angus Wright) places their lifestyle under threat.
This is very much a play for the bright young things of British theatre. Andrew Scott, who plays Leo, and Tom Burke, Otto, are a terrific double act. Scott portrays Leo and an impulsive hysteric which contrasts with Burke's suave and sophisticated Otto. Both are fantastically funny in what must be one of the best drunken scenes in theatre. The two are controlled by the beautiful, strong and seductive Gilda (played superbly by Lisa Dillon) who entices and allures them both keeping the relationship between the three in constant flux. Maggie McCarthy, Nancy Crane, John Hollingworth and Edward Dede all give brilliant support.
Funny, striking and slick, Design for Living represents another excellent revival from the Old Vic. While it may feel a little bit long, it honours Coward's original while bringing it up to date for the 21st century. A must see this Autumn.
Design for Living by Noel Coward at The Old Vic.
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