Noel Coward Stage Play 'Private Lives' to Return to U.K. Cinemas

Toby Stephens

Captured at a West End theater last year, the recording of the play, which stars Toby Stephens and Anna Chancellor, is being brought back for a second run in cinemas.

LONDON – CinemaLive and Digital Theatre are partnering to bring a performance of the Noel Coward stage play Private Lives, starring Toby Stephens and Anna Chancellor, back to U.K. cinemas for one night only.

Private Lives was captured in high definition by Digital Theatre from a performance at the Gielgud Theatre in September 2013 and distributed to cinemas around the world by CinemaLive.

The production opened in U.K. cinemas on February 6 and played to packed houses.

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The re-release marks the first time U.K. exhibition giant Cineworld has brought back an event cinema production under its "Take 2" strand, which was set up to bring big films back to cinemas for a second run. They plan to re-screen the play in 76 theaters across the U.K.

Digital Theatre head of cinema and screenings Rachael Castell said: "The nationwide screening of Private Lives reached number three at the U.K. and Ireland box office on the day of its release, so it’s wonderful the British public have another opportunity to watch the production at their local cinema."

The play is part of the West End Theatre Series program, a partnership between Digital Theatre and CinemaLive, which brings productions from London's West End to cinemas.

Event Cinema Association chair Melissa Keeping said: "Making the arts accessible is what event cinema is all about and the unique business model of event cinema means that CinemaLive and Digital Theatre can react quickly and provide a further one-off screening to satisfy audience demands. Theatre is one of the fastest-growing genres in event cinema."

Chichester Festival Theatre’s production of Coward’s Private Lives, directed by Jonathan Kent, is the second production to be distributed as part of the West End Theatre Series and follows Maria Friedman’s production of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s Merrily We Roll Along.

Private Lives was produced in the West End by CFT Enterprises, Old Vic Productions, Duncan C. Weldon and APT Productions.