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Noel Coward’s 1932 play Design For Living was initially banned in the UK until 1939 because its risque subject matter was thought unacceptable to the official censor.
The provocative play has now returned to London for the first time in 15 years, to the Old Vic Theatre.
We asked what some audience members thought of the show.
Jess, 29, Herne Hill
This is a fabulous play – I enjoyed it immensely. I’ve never seen a Noel Coward play before and I thought the script was superb – but because it was brought alive and injected with a wonderful humour by three such strong leading actors. I thought Lisa Dillon made a charming Gilda – it was a real pleasure to watch her. And I just loved the scene when Otto and Leo got drunk – it was so well executed and achingly funny. Despite the comic lines, I believed in the characters and their love triangle scenario. The play had a very sweet ending and was an absolute tonic.
Linnie, 34, Croydon
I would describe it as a perfectly cast Coward that sparkled darkly – it was delightful and deliciously naughty.
Marlon, 26, Seven Sisters
I was blown away by Design for Living. The dialogue was superbly sharp, the sets were fantastic and the storyline really impressed me. And it was so refreshing not to have the typical “Hollywood ending”. Five stars!
Abby, 30, Tower Bridge
Thought the play was very entertaining and funny, though I thought some of the scenes were heading into the farcical (shouting scene at the end). Overall a thoroughly entertaining evening.
Nic, 31, Bethnal Green
Best thing I’ve seen in a long time, wonderful acting and just hilarious! Gave it a standing ovation.
Ricci, 29, Herne Hill
Great script, delivered supremely. Gripping from the start. The glamorous costumes and sets transported us back to another age. And yet the play’s content – and all the issues and emotions the characters have to deal with – still have relevance today. I loved it!
Barry, 45, South Woodford
Although the storyline is very thin the brilliant acting more than makes up for it. Tom Burke and Andrew Scott are like a well-oiled machine. They bounce off of each other like they have been doing the play for years. The drunken scene towards the end of act two is excellent. Lisa Dillon is also brilliant and is on stage for most of the production. The set is also very good and far more than you normally see in a play. The play lasts for 3 hours including two intervals, but you will be laughing for large parts of that.
Design for Living is on at the Old Vic until 27 November. Get your Design for Living Tickets here. Have you seen the show? Add your views to the mix in the comments below.