Review: Private Lives, Donnmar Warehouse - odd choices make for difficult watch at times
The first thing I said to my friend during the interval of Private Lives at the Donmar Warehouse was, 'I don't remember this being a play about domestic violence'.
We'd just witnessed Elyot (Stephen Mangan) and Amanda (Rachael Stirling) having a physical fight which included Elyot grabbing Amanda by the throat and throwing her onto a sofa.
This wasn't slapstick violence which you might expect in a comedy of this type but vicious, and it wasn't funny.
A woman was overheard asking an usher why there wasn't a content warning. There is one, but it's tucked away on the website to avoid spoilers.
And it's not a play I'd think to look for content warning.
You expect verbal cuts and bruises as bitterly divorced couple Elyot and Amanda find themselves in neighbouring rooms while on their respective honeymoons. But the physical fighting feels like an odd choice.
The play is, in essence, about a couple who can't live without each other but equally can't live with each other - despite agreeing on a 'time-out' word when they are bickering.
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