Lyceum Sheffield: Private Lives, starring Patricia Hodge and Nigel Havers - review

Noël Coward’s classic comedy takes the stage as divorced couple Elyot and Amanda find themselves staying in the same hotel for their honeymoon, on adjoining balconies.

By Ella Spencer
Thursday, 24th February 2022, 11:16 pm

A wave of cheers filled the Sheffield Lyceum as Nigel Havers, playing the role of Elyot, ever so Bond-like, steps out on to the balcony in a clean-cut tux and a charming allure to match.

Patricia Hodge graces the stage, playing Amanda, captivating the audience with her sharp wit and melodious voice.

These two old flames come face to face in this war between the sexes. Their repulsion for one another, quarrelling over their old habits, soon turns into reminiscence of the fiery love they once had.

Patricia-Hodge as Amanda and Nigel Havers at Elyot in Private Lives (photo: Tristram Kenton).

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The newly-wed spouses played by Natalie Walter and Dugald Bruce-Lockhart are perfect for the roles of their younger and duller counterparts, who are left behind as Elyot and Amanda run off to Paris together.

The comedy gloriously captures middle-aged married life, from the constant back and forth bickering to the scene where Amanda turns down Elyot’s sexual advances because she’s too full of the heavy meal they had.

Elyot and Amanda are perfectly relatable in this play, which reflects all the notions of love in its true form, while leaving the audience in agreeable chuckles at its enigmatic nature.

Patricia Hodge and Nigel Havers in Private Lives

Private Lives runs at the Lyceum Theatre in Sheffield from Tuesday, February 22 – Saturday, February 26.

Tickets can be booked through the Box Office in person, over the phone on 0114 249 6000, or at