David Pugh and Theatre Royal Bath Productions have announced The Nigel Havers Theatre Company in Noel Coward’s gloriously entertaining Private Lives. This will be the inaugural show for The Nigel Havers Theatre Company, which will be touring the country with a wonderful line-up of theatrical gems. The plan is that the UK Tour of Private Lives will begin at Theatre Royal Bath on 1 October 2020.
Award-winning theatre producer David Pugh said of the new company, “Nigel Havers is one of the biggest stars who likes to tour and in the past we have had some incredibly successful partnerships, from Art through to Frank McGuinness’s adaption of Rebecca.
“My suggestion last year to Nigel to form The Nigel Havers Theatre Company was met with a wry smile, but he warmed to the idea and finally agreed that he would take 18 weeks out each year to tour a play, ‘as long as the play is entertaining and, most importantly, ticket prices are accessible to as many people as possible.’”
David continued, “Little did we know last year that this now seems to be more important than ever and, when we are allowed again to safely open theatres, we have to realise theatre can no longer be the luxury item it so often is; theatre should be able to be seen by and be for everybody. Ticket pricing and ticketing charges have become ridiculous. I believe our job is simply to entertain and to as many people as possible and now, out of this crisis, let’s hope we can address this and do just that.”
Coward’s dazzling comic masterpiece is both a scintillatingly witty and scathingly vitriolic study of the rich and reckless in love. Elyot and Amanda, who were once married, find themselves in adjoining rooms in the same hotel on the French Riviera, both on honeymoon with their new partners. Their initial horror quickly evaporates and soon they’re sharing cocktails and a romantic serenade.
The Olivier Award-winning Patricia Hodge OBE, one of the country’s most loved actresses, plays Amanda. Nigel Havers, ever suave and thoroughly charming, plays Elyot, the role taken by Noël Coward himself in the original production in 1930. Astonishingly, it is the first time Nigel Havers has appeared in a Coward play on stage. Dugald Bruce-Lockhart plays Victor and Natalie Walter plays Sibyl.
Private Lives will be directed by Christopher Luscombe, with set and costume designs by Simon Higlett, lighting design by Tim Mitchell and casting by Sarah Bird.
Private Lives Tour Schedule
Theatre Royal Bath – Thursday 1 – Saturday 10 October – theatreroyal.org.uk
Norwich Theatre Royal – Tuesday 13 – Saturday 17 October – norwichtheatre.org
Everyman Theatre Cheltenham – Tuesday 20 – Saturday 24 October – everymantheatre.org.uk
Newcastle Theatre Royal – Tuesday 27 – Saturday 31 October – theatreroyal.co.uk
Cambridge Arts Theatre – Tuesday 3 – Saturday 7 November – cambridgeartstheatre.com
Richmond Theatre – Tuesday 10 – Saturday 14 November – atgtickets.com/Richmond
Malvern Theatres – Tuesday 17 – Saturday 21 November – malvern-theatres.co.uk
Leeds Grand Theatre – Tuesday 16 – Saturday 20 March 2021 – www.leedsgrandtheatre.com
Further dates to be announced.