AUDIENCE members will be transported back to nearly 100 years ago with a Winchester theatre’s first show of the year.

The Chesil Theatre is kicking off the New Year with Noel Coward’s classic comedy Private Lives. The story follows divorced couple Elyot and Amanda and their passion for each other, with a 1930s backdrop.

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Hampshire Chronicle: The Chesil Theatre presents Private LivesThe Chesil Theatre presents Private Lives (Image: Malcolm Brown)

The show will be director Nicky Hubbard’s first full-length play behind Chesil’s red door. Audiences can enjoy performances from actors Helen Milton-Symes and Alec Walters, taking the leads of Amanda and Elyot, and supported by Hannah Ley and Steve Clark, who take on the roles of their long-suffering spouses, Sybil and Victor.  

Written in Shanghai as Coward recovered from influenza, Private Lives is believed to reflect his own attitudes towards marriage, and after initially planning the play over his two-week recovery, he is thought to have finished working on the piece in just four days. 

Private Lives runs at the Chesil Theatre, in Chesil Street, from January 20 to 27 with an extra preview performance on Friday, January 19 due to high demand. For tickets go to