First Night Reviews of Private Lives

Here are some of the early reviews as 3 March is press night, or "first night".

The Guardian : "[Macfadyen] is very funny in the beautifully choreographed fight scene."

"It is a clever, funny production that certainly hits the spot."

The Independent : "Escaping entirely from the highly strung, slightly queeny stock portrayal of Elyot, Macfadyen is all the funnier for being so meatily masculine and solid a presence, with an accent that seems to mock its own port-wine plumminess in a manner that reminded me, at times, of Michael Gambon. Playing the bitchy off the butch gives a lovely unfussed, goading aplomb to the character’s drop-dead put-downs."

"Eyre’s splendid production alerts you anew to the fact that Private Lives is a dazzling feat of airborne comic dramaturgy."

The Times : I’ve seen rougher “scenes” than the one these two produce in their posh Paris hideaway — where Anton Lesser nearly tore off Juliet Stevenson’s head, Macfadyen forces a bowlful of ice down Cattrall’s neck — but you never doubt their bond. At first I thought him too aloof, even a bit sullen and stolid, and her too free with the sort of fluttery vowels Marilyn Monroe might have have emitted were she attempting an English accent. But his wit has bite, and she combines allure with the mulishness of a woman who knows her own mind as well as her own body. They’ve received a few hard knocks and will doubtless deliver a few more.