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17.8.10

Private Lives

by Noel Coward

What better to read after Moon Over Buffalo than the very play that is so destroyed by drunken George! What a lovely little comedy.. it feels very modern to me, even though it was written in the early 20th century. Amanda spouts out the premise early on:
I think very few people are completely normal really, deep down in their private lives. It all depends on a combination of circumstances. If all the various cosmic thingummies fuse at the same moment, and the right spark is struck, there's no knowing what one mightn't do.
Reminds me of Midsummer - a little magic and anything is possible.

Easily my favorite line:
Extraordinary how potent cheap music is.
You know how you'll hear a song and it's got the worst, most repetitive lyrics, but you just can't help but dance? And then it's stuck in your head forever? So potent.

This play made me think about relationships that are full of passion, including the highs and lows, versus those that are tame but reliable. Amanda and Elyot have a tumultuous relationship full of intense love and violent fights. This seems unhealthy, but I can't help but feel that I would prefer it to something predictable and boring. The two of them were married but they divorced and then each married someone else. On their honeymoons (which happen to be in the same hotel) they rekindle their love and leave their new spouses. Guilt starts to get to the couple and Elli says:
Infinitely worse than any cruelty in the world, pretending to love them, and loving each other, so desperately. 
Real life is messy. Not every relationship is the American Dream and not everyone gets it right the first time. That doesn't mean they love each other less just because they had to leave each other to realize how right they were together.
 Things that ought to matter dreadfully, don't matter at all when one's happy, do they?
Here's to love - in all its forms - messy and terrifying and wonderful. It's love "as you like it."

Friday Play-a-day: The Country Club by Douglas Carter Beane

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