Teatro S√£o Jo√£o

Private Lives

by No√ęl Coward

directed by Jorge Silva Melo

Private Lives


Jorge Silva Melo and Artistas Unidos offer us an unexpected view of the sophisticated and brilliant No√ęl Coward (1899-1973), one of the most successful playwrights in the Anglo-Saxon world during the 1920s and 1930s. Afterwards, the British author‚Äôs work fell into neglect, but it was later ‚Äúrevived‚ÄĚ (as a tribute, Harold Pinter staged one of Coward‚Äôs plays at the National Theatre in 1976) and remains defiantly old-fashioned today. Private Lives (1930) is one of those plays to which we associate a series of adjectives and accomplishments. Let us see: written in just three days, it was his most impressive critical and box-office hit, the most eloquent instance of his art. The play is about the sparkle and opaqueness of language, the joys and evils of marriage and divorce, couples that are never happy be they together or apart, and the lights that go out when the champagne runs out. Coward‚Äôs epic lightness must never be mistaken for thoughtlessness: his frivolity is disturbing. Philip Hoare, one of his biographers, pointed out that ‚Äú[f]or all his comic brilliance, Coward may have been one of the greatest tragedians of his time‚ÄĚ. Private Lives, he tells us, is a ‚Äúdark amusement‚ÄĚ that ‚Äúmake[s] us laugh so much we forget to cry.‚ÄĚ


by No√ęl Coward directed by Jorge Silva Melo

translated by Miguel Esteves Cardoso set design Rita Lopes Alves, José Manuel Reis costumes Rita Lopes Alves lighting design Pedro Domingos sound design André Pires direction assistence Nuno Gonçalo Rodrigues

with Isabel Mu√Īoz Cardoso, Rita Dur√£o, R√ļben Gomes, Tiago Matias, V√Ęnia Rodrigues

co-produced by Artistas Unidos, Centro Cultural de Belém, TNSJ

opening 31Oct2019 Teatro Municipal de Vila Real playing time 1:45 Ages 12 and up