Private Lives is a play written by Noel Coward in 1930. Coward, who also starred in the first production alongside Gertrude Lawrence and Laurence Olivier, wrote the play specifically with Lawrence in mind. The play was conceived on a trip around the world, and completed in only four days, while Coward was convalescing in the Peace Hotel (then known as the Cathay Hotel) in Shanghai after a bout of influenza. It was Coward's most enduringly successful work and is generally regarded as the high point of his career both commercially and artistically.
The action concerns a divorced couple, Amanda and Elyot, both recently remarried, who each happen to accidentally book adjoining suites at the same hotel for their honeymoons. The play centres on the two leads and their agonising realisation that they still care for each other, and contains some of Coward's best dialogue.
Having been written for Lawrence, the play has nonetheless fared well throughout its many years of worldwide revival. A sound recording of Coward and Lawrence performing scenes from the play, made by HMV in the 1930s, still survives and is available on CD. The play contains many of Coward's most quotable lines as well as the original song "Someday I'll Find You".