Glamour, elegance and sparkling wit – Noel Coward's classic comedy remains as fresh and entertaining today as when first staged in 1930. As honeymoon couples take in the view from their adjoining flower-decked balconies overlooking a sea where luxury yachts lie at anchor, the future appears rosy. Yet when debonair Elyot Chase quietly hums along with the hotel orchestra's favourite melody Someday I'll Find You there is an immediate and very funny knee-jerk reaction from newly-wed sophisticate Amanda on next door's balcony.
Directed by Tom Attenborough and designed by Lucy Osborne, this is beautifully staged and thoroughly engaging theatre. The spark is immediate between Tom Chambers' charming Elyot and Laura Rogers' sophisticated, passionate and fiery Amanda. In love for 8 years, three married and five divorced, the pair can neither live amicably together nor apart. As their passion rekindles, Amanda retorts "A honeymoon is a very over-rated experience" Both newly remarried to another and honeymooning in a glamorous French resort, impetuously the pair escape to Paris, followed in due course by their distressed partners. Victor (Richard Teverson) and Sibyl (Charlotte Ritchie), a conventional pair, seek answers to the escapade.
There are some gloriously funny moments, as Coward's barbed comments and witty dialogue is bantered back and forth. Whether dancing flamboyantly to records, or harmonising beautifully with Elyot at the piano, the pair are engaging. With bickering building, the fiery Amanda, lounging decorously in a wonderful art deco sofa, alternately snipes at and adores Elyot. Eventually in an extremely physical and energetic row to end all rows, furniture is upended, china smashed with the elegant Parisian apartment left in turmoil. Strongly played and elegantly staged, catch a performance before it ends on Saturday (March 5th).