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Publisher's Summary

Paul Scofield and Patricia Routledge star in Noël Coward’s classic comedy of manners. Private Lives was written in 1930 and has been a mainstay of British theatre ever since.

This sharply funny play of reversals focuses on Elyot and Amanda, a passionate but feuding couple who divorced five years before. Now, on the first night of their honeymoons with their new partners, they find that they are all staying in the same hotel on the French Riviera. Fireworks are inevitable....

The roles of the two ex-spouses are brilliantly recreated by Paul Scofield and Patricia Routledge, while Coward’s scintillating repartee epitomises all the glamour and sophistication of life between the wars for society’s spoilt darlings.

The Classic Radio Theatre range presents notable radio productions of much-loved plays by some of the most renowned playwrights and starring some of our finest actors.

©1930 Noel Coward (P)2010 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

What listeners say about Classic Radio Theatre: Private Lives

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Keep it private

Let me start by saying that Noel Coward is a genius. There is no doubt that he is a very witty and talented playwright. Having said that, maybe this play isn't his best. The actors' dialogue seems forced and overdone. I ended up being annoyed rather than amused.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-31-20

Doesn't play well on Audible

Great story but it has been poorly recorded for Audible. The sound quality makes it hard to hear what's happening without turning it up almost twice as loud as my other books.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kate
  • 08-08-17

So funny

Private Lives is so funny. The exs love and hate each other at the same time!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jennifer
  • 01-05-14

Great adaptation

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

If you like the play, this is a great version.

What did you like best about this story?

The wit and performances.

Have you listened to any of Paul Scofield and Patricia Routledge ’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Patricia Routledge was great, but I couldn't help picturing Hyacinth Bouquet occasionally.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Can't live with each other, can't live without each other.

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  • fliss
  • 06-07-13

Terrible!

Just terrible! Poorly cast and woodenly acted - don't touch this with a barge pole!

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Emma
  • 03-29-10

Quite good but very twee

Lovely little Coward play (currently performing to rave reviews in London) I'm afraid this version was too twee and saccharine for my tastes though. That said, my grandmother has this same production on CD and she adores it.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-02-10

An oldie but a goodie

This is a good radio production of a classic Coward play. It's no accident that this is a Classic title - the recording dates back to the early 1980s - but since the play dates back fifty years further there is no shame in that!

A classic period production of a classic period play.