I imagine anyone who watched this is old enough to remember Rula Lenska's Alberto VO5 commercials way back when. Believed by the advertisers to be an internationally known actress, when these commercials were shown in the US, no one knew who she was. She immediately became the joke of nighttime comics.
Actually Rula Lenska is a beautiful woman and a wonderful actress, as she shows here in "Design for Living" from 1979. The play also stars Clive Arrindell and John Steiner. Lenska is Gilda, who loves two men who were once lovers, Otto and Leo. When she's with Otto, she cheats on him with Leo and vice versa. The three finally decide that they can't live without one another and decide to live together.
To some this play is dated; but in actuality, these menages are the latest thing, it seems. Arrindell and Steiner come off as somewhat fey, but that's the style, and the two had some very funny bits worked out. Lenska is gorgeous, and one wonders if the mercurial Gilda, the way she played it, would really have wanted these two.
Very good production values. It's not Coward's best, and for what it is, it's overlong, but it's worth seeing.
Definitely better than the VO5 commercial when Rula comes home after a night of disco dancing.
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