You are on page 1of 3

8evlew of Des|gn Ior L|v|ng by noel Coward aL Lhe Cld vlc 1heaLre ln London

1) Jhere was Lhe play seL and how was LhaL lndlcaLed?
1here were Lhree locaLlons ln Lhe play arls London new ?ork 1hese places were lndlcaLed aL Lhe
sLarL of each of Lhe Lhree acLs where Lhe name of Lhe locaLlon was pro[ecLed onLo Lhe curLaln whlch
was Lhen llfLed beglnnlng Lhe acL 1here was a dlfferenL seL for each locaLlon Lhe aparLmenL where
Cllda and whoever she was wlLh aL LhaL Llme were llvlng
1he flrsL seL was Cllda CLLo's aparLmenL ln arls 1he slanLlng angle of Lhe celllng along wlLh Lhe
Lall wlndows wlLh Lhe back of whaL appeared Lo be a hoLel or adverLlslng slgn ouLslde Lhem gave Lhe
audlence an lmpresslon of belng aL Lhe Lop of a bulldlng 1he furnlshlngs of Lhe aparLmenL were
mlnlmal wlLh bare wooden floorboards glvlng a sense of scrufflness 1he aparLmenL was also qulLe
messy wlLh varlous colourful scarves and lLems of cloLhlng draped abouL Lhe place 1here weren'L
any proper doors aparL from Lhe ouLer one only bead curLaln Lype parLlLlons 1here was also a sofa
and a recllner LhaL looked dlsLlncLly well used 1he room was clearly Lhe slLLlng room/dlnlng
room/klLchen whlch had a casual arLlsLlc aLmosphere 1he whole seL gave off an lmpresslon of
scruffy yeL affluenL nonchalance LhaL sald Lo Lhe audlence LhaL Lhe occupanLs could do beLLer buL
dldn'L parLlcularly wanL Lo
1he second seL was Cllda Leo's aparLmenL ln London 1hls room had very Lall grand looklng
wlndows wlLh a long sofa accompanled by Lwo armchalrs ln Lhe cenLre 1hls clearly showed LhaL Lhe
only funcLlon of Lhe room was as a general slLLlng room whlch was Lhe cenLre of Lhe home lL
wasn'L for example a klLchen as well as ln arls 1hls seL was when Leo was dolng very well as a
playwrlghL and was becomlng famous and so Cllda furnlshed lL Lo llve up Lo Lhe expecLaLlons of
[ournallsLs eLc one of whlch came calllng durlng Lhe second acL 1he colours of Lhls room were sofL
yellow and green and Lhls along wlLh Lhe furnlLure made everyLhlng seem very comforLable and
ordered whlle also sllghLly opulenL and grand 1hls gave Lhe lmpresslon LhaL Cllda and Leo were
very seLLled and conLenLed Lhere alLhough as lL Lurned ouL Lhey weren'L
1he flnal seL was Cllda LarnesL's aparLmenL ln new ?ork 1hls used double levels along wlLh a
wlde sweeplng sLalrcase Lo porLray Lhe glamorous grand llfe LhaL Lhe Lwo of Lhem were llvlng
Addlng Lo Lhls effecL was Lhe Lall door openlng ouL onLo Lhe balcony where Lhe audlence could see
Lhe 'marvellous vlew' of new ?ork LhaL was referred Lo so ofLen ln Lhls flnal scene 1he colours of Lhls
seL were mosLly slmple whlLe and sllver 'mlnlmallsL' decoraLed wlLh some of Lhe arLwork LarnesL
had boughL accenLuaLlng Cllda's career as an lnLerlor deslgner

2) JhaL was Lhe play abouL and whaL Lhemes and lssues dld lL ralse?
1he baslc sLory of Lhe play was LhaL Lhere were Lhree people who were all ln love wlLh each oLher
Cllda an lnLerlor deslgner Leo a playwrlghL CLLo an arLlsL Cllda also had an old famlly frlend
called LarnesL who was an arL dealer ln Lhe flrsL acL Cllda was llvlng wlLh CLLo ln arls buL Lhen Leo
'came back' from somewhere and Lhey accldenLally goL LogeLher Lhen because of LarnesL CLLo
found ouL and lefL ln acL Lwo Cllda and Leo were llvlng LogeLher ln London and Leo was becomlng a
very successful playwrlghL buL Lhey were boLh very unhappy Lhen CLLo came back and he and Leo
goL LogeLher leavlng Cllda alone and she Lhen lefL ln acL Lhree Cllda and LarnesL were marrled and
llvlng ln new ?ork and Leo CLLo showed up Lo Lry and geL Cllda back ln Lhe end Lhey succeeded
1he maln sLyle of Lhe play was comedy AlLhough Lhere were a loL of serlous momenLs Lhere were
many comlc ones as well ln Lhe mosL surprlslng of places CfLen ln whaL appeared Lo be a very
serlous momenL ln Lhe play a Llny Lhlng one characLer sald or dld wlLh lmpeccable comlc Llmlng
would send Lhe audlence lnLo hysLerlcs agaln 1here was one very clever very funny scene where
Leo and CLLo were drunk and goL sLeadlly drunker whlch was helped along by some slapsLlck and
very wlLLy dlalogue
1he maln Lheme ln Lhe play was of relaLlonshlps beLween people and Lhe exploraLlon of Lhe ldea of
blsexuallLy whlch would have been qulLe a shocklng concepL ln 1933 when Lhe play was flrsL
performed 1he play was noL only endorslng relaLlonshlps beLween men buL beLween Lhree raLher
Lhan Lwo people lL was also abouL Lhe lmpacL Lhe Lhree of Lhem had on each oLher because Lhere
were Lhree of Lhem raLher Lhan Lhe LradlLlonal Lwo lL seemed LhaL whaLever Lwo of Lhem dld
LogeLher had a negaLlve lmpacL on Lhe Lhlrd buL LhaL none could survlve wlLhouL Lhe oLher Lwo

3) AcLlng
All Lhree of Lhem as laLer descrlbed by auLhor noel Coward were gllb overarLlculaLe amoral
creaLures" who force Lhelr llves lnLo fanLasLlc shapes and problems because Lhey cannoL help
Lhemselves" 1hey were culLured upper mlddle class Lngllsh people who behaved aL once as Lhough
Lhey were parL of 'socleLy' and ouLslde of lL
||da was a sexy glamorous woman who led an orlglnally unsuccessful career as an lnLerlor
deslgner She seemed very lald back and relaxed perfecLly sulLed Lo Lhe sLyle of llfe LhaL she was
llvlng ln acLs 12 ln acL 3 when she was llvlng ln new ?ork wlLh LrnesL and was more a parL of
socleLy she became a hosLess who revelled ln showlng people round her elaboraLely deslgned flaL
Powever she was always mosL aL ease ln Lhe company of CLLo or Leo or boLh and Lhls was subLly
lndlcaLed noL only by her laldback manner buL by Lhe facL LhaL aL all Lhese polnLs she wore no shoes
showlng LhaL she was relaxed and wasn'L concerned wlLh whaL oLher people LhoughL abouL her 1he
acLress communlcaLed her characLer by havlng an uprlghL eleganL polse and fancy sllghLly elaboraLe
gesLures Per volce was very posh and culLured she had an upper class Lngllsh accenL
Leo was Lhe more camp and also Lhe smaller of Lhe Lwo men Pe was a playwrlghL who became very
successful buL wasn'L enLlrely happy abouL Lhe facL Pls characLer was llke a playful naughLy
schoolboy he had a hlgher volce Lhan CLLo whlch was someLlmes mocklng parLlcularly ln Lhe Lhlrd
acL when Lhey were maklng fun of Lhe people aL Cllda's flaL Pe had a very cheerfullooklng round
face whlch added Lo Lhe 'naughLy schoolboy' alr Pe was also very uprlghL and ofLen had a hand ln
one pockeL glvlng hlm Lhe alr of a wellbroughLup mlddle class man
Ctto was a palnLer who was llvlng wlLh Cllda orlglnally Pe was hurL and upseL when Cllda seemed Lo
go behlnd hls back wlLh Leo and lefL Lhem boLh reLurnlng ln AcL 2 Pe was very casual and confldenL
he seemed sure of hlmself 1he acLor porLrayed Lhls by walklng wlLh a confldenL alr and by seemlng
Lo have a blL more domlnance Lhan Leo who was conLrasLlngly very playful
rnest was dlfferenL from Lhe oLher characLers ln LhaL he was a loL older and had a loL more of a 'sLlff
upper llp' Pe frowned upon Lhelr promlsculLy and Lhelr menageaLrols Pe was porLrayed by Lhe
acLor as belng very uprlghL llke Lhe oLhers buL ln a more sLlff rlgld way whlch showed hls more old
fashloned morals and aLLlLudes Pe almosL always seemed Lo be frownlng Lhls percepLlon was
deflnlLely helped by hls mousLache
4) LvaluaLlon
l en[oyed Lhe changes beLween Lhe seLs and Lherefore Lhe dlfferenL places and Lhe effecL Lhey had
on Lhe dlfferenL characLers for example Cllda behaved very dlfferenLly ln her glamorous flaL ln new
?ork l parLlcularly en[oyed Lhe comedy scenes for example when Leo and CLLo goL Lhemselves
exLremely drunk when Cllda lefL Lhem Lhey played Lhe drunkenness very well noL overdolng lL buL
belng drunk enough LhaL Lhe whole scene was very funny AL LhaL polnL l couldn'L sLop laughlng
parLly because Lhey couldn'L sLop laughlng mosLly aL Lhemselves 1he oLher funny scene was when
Leo and CLLo Lurned up Lo Cllda and LrnesL's flaL ln new ?ork and made fun of and LormenLed Lhe
oLher guesLs unLll Lhey wanLed Lo leave 1hls was also done very well wlLh confuslon and lndlgnaLlon
from Lhe oLher guesLs maklng Lhe scene even funnler AnoLher of my favourlLe momenLs was when
LrnesL broke down aL Lhe end of Lhe play and had whaL remlnded me of a 8asll lawlLy Lemper
1he play made me Lhlnk abouL Lhe lssues of blsexuallLy and homosexuallLy whlch ln Lhose days
would have been a crlmlnal acL homosexuallLy was only legallsed ln 1967 1he way LhaL socleLy
(shown by LrnesL Mrs Podge and Lhe guesLs ln AcL 3) looked upon people llke Cllda CLLo and Leo
seems very backward and oldfashloned Lo us Loday buL people wlLh dlfferenL sexuallLles or who
llved LogeLher wlLhouL belng marrled musL have had qulLe a hard Llme on Lhe whole alLhough Lhls
dldn'L really seem Lo be Lhe case ln Lhe play as Lhe Lhree of Lhem seemed more or less LoLally