GET ready for a battle of the sexes in Malvern, although it all might seem terribly, terribly polite, at least on the surface, at least to begin with.

Then again, strong passions are promised with a performance of this Noel Coward classic.

Private Lives is probably Coward’s most popular and enduring stage comedy.

A spokesman said: "Strong passions and stronger personalities set the stage.

"It's 1930, in the South of France. Two newly-married couples are occuping adjoining honeymoon suites in the same hotel. As a distant orchestra plays, Sibyl gazes adoringly at charismatic husband Elyot, while Victor admires his new wife, the vivacious and sophisticated Amanda.

"Champagne flows and the sea shimmers in the moonlight as the newly weds prepare for the evening ahead. But when Amanda overhears a familiar voice singing a forgotten song, an old spark reignites, with spectacular consequences."

The spokesman added: "Full of razor-sharp wit and quick-fire dialogue, Private Lives remains Coward’s most popular and enduring stage comedy. Since its opening at London’s Phoenix Theatre in August 1930, the play has retained its remarkable appeal, captivating audiences worldwide."

The dates for the diary are September 6 to September 9.

Tickets on, 01684 892277.