Noël Coward’s witty, farcical and provocative comedy Present Laughter is revived by Matthew Warchus at The Old Vic, starring Andrew Scott and Sophie Thompson.
Also starring the likes of Luke Thallon, Suzie Toase and Indira Varma, Present Laughter is Noël Coward’s self-confessed semi-autobiographical story of the successful and self-obsessed comedy actor Garry Essendine, a caricature who’s teetering on the verge of a mid-life crisis. With an exciting cast and rich source material, Present Laughter tickets are expected to be in hot demand at The Old Vic.
The plot of Present Laughter sees comic events unfold while Essendine is preparing to embark on a touring commitment in Africa. But before he departs, he is confronted by young admirers, rumours of affairs, promises of auditions, eager new playwrights, a long-suffering secretary and his estranged wife, as events spiral to climactic confrontation.
While primarily being a comedy, Present Laughter explores themes of narcissism, hero worship and loneliness – a laugh-out-loud sex comedy with hidden and surprising depths. The show was first produced in Blackpool in September 1942, during Coward’s wartime tour of Britain. It first played in London’s Theatre Royal Haymarket in 1947, and has been revived a number of times subsequently in the West End and beyond.
The role of Essendine was played by Coward during the show’s premiere run, and is now inhabited by Scott. Present Laughter has seen a whole host of huge stars in its central role, including Clifton Webb, Albert Finney, Simon Callow, Ian McKellen and Kevin Kline.
Andrew Scott is perhaps best known for his portrayal of Jim Moriarty in the BBC’s series of Sherlock, as well as his Olivier Award-nominated role as Hamlet in 2017 and his role in Bond film Skyfall. He will star opposite Sophie Thompson (The Importance Of Being Earnest, West End; Four Weddings And A Funeral); Luke Thallon (The Inheritance, Young Vic); Suzie Toase (One Man, Two Guvnors – West End) and Indira Varma (The Hothouse, West End), all directed by The Old Vic’s Artistic Director Matthew Warchus.
Suitable for ages 11+, expect chuckles aplenty when you book Present Laughter tickets, now available via Official London Theatre.