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August 25, 2002

On Hiatus

Lady Crumpet is off to the beach for a few days, in order to test out the efficacy of the new hairdo whilst she frolics in the surf. Ah, bliss!

However, I must note my recent theater experience: a revival of Private Lives, starring Alan Rickman and Lindsay Duncan. Noel Coward has a rather knife-edged take on love, doesn't he? Rickman is absolutely delicious and sexy, his ennui and flippancy dripping with acid in every line. Near the end of the first act, when they discover that they are both on honeymoon with their new spouses in the same place, Elyot and Amanda are about to confess that they remain as in love and in hate as ever. Duncan, who won a Tony for her role, has her arm stretched out, her palm flat on Rickman's tuxedoed chest, trying to keep him from getting closer, but not actually breaking the contact by dropping her hand. The characters are still trading lines, and I suddenly notice a strange sort of angle in the line of Rickman's legs in relation to his feet, which haven't moved since her hand reached his lapel. And I realize, watching them, that he's leaning against her hand, and her arm isn't so rigid and straight anymore - it was a perfect, physical mutual gesture illustrating the tension between these two former lovers, whether to resist or give in to each other. And their portrayal of the characters' intoxication with each other in the second act is just tingling, even though their silk pajamas remain entirely in place as they by turns woo and stab at each other, trying to make things go right this time around even as they fall into the dynamics that tore them apart before.

Yours, &c., LC | 08:14 AM |