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Present Laughter Tickets

Old Vic Theatre

Matthew Warchus directs a new revival of Noёl Coward’s Present Laughter, which runs at the Old Vic from June 2019. The production stars Andrew Scott as self-absorbed matinée idol Garry Essendine.

The divine silliness of Noёl Coward’s comedy meets Matthew Warchus' acclaimed direction in this revival of Present Laughter. Starring the inimitable Andrew Scott, the production is one for the diary. Catch it at the Old Vic from 17 June 2019.

Described by playwright Coward as "a series of semi-autobiographical pyrotechnics", Present Laughter was written in 1939, although it wasn't produced until 1942. The piece has been treated to many revivals, starring stage legends such as Albert Finney, Peter O'Toole, Ian McKellen and Rik Mayall.

This classic comedy revolves around self-interested matinée idol Garry Essendine as he juggles an onslaught of personal and professional relationships. Besides his house staff, put-upon secretary and his manager, he must deal with his estranged wife and a bevy of seductresses, all while navigating an impending mid-life crisis.

Andrew Scott stars as Garry. Scott's remarkable career straddles film, television and stage; it includes the role of Moriarty in Sherlock (which won him a BAFTA for Best Supporting Actor) and more recently, the priest in Fleabag. His stage appearances include starring turns in Hamlet and Sea Wall.

Scott is joined onstage by Luke Thallon (The Inheritance), Suzie Toase (One Man, Two Guvnors), Indira Varma (HBO's Game of Thrones) and Sophie Thompson (The Importance of Being Earnest).

Director Matthew Warchus has held the position of Artistic Director at the Old Vic since September 2015. He counts many prestigious awards to his name, including an Olivier for Best Director for his direction of Hamlet, and a Tony for Best Director of a Musical for Groundhog Day.

Set and costume design come from Rob Howell, while lighting is the work of Hugh Vanstone and sound is thanks to Simon Baker.

A stellar cast and a sublimely comical script mean this production of Present Laughter is one to catch. It runs at the Old Vic from 17 June 2019.

Performance dates:
09 Aug 2019 - 10 Aug 2019
Running time:
2 hours and 30 minutes including an interval.
Age recommendation:
Recommended 11+
Audience Notes:
If you enjoy Noёl Coward’s particular brand of whimsical humour, you'll want to secure tickets to Present Laughter at the Old Vic. Fans of Andrew Scott shouldn't miss this new chance to see him on the London stage.

Present Laughter Reviews

106 Reviews
  • 5 Stars81%
  • 4 Stars11%
  • 3 Stars7%
  • 2 Stars1%
  • 1 Stars0%

User Reviews


I had the most fantastic evening. This was written in 1939 - not performed for a few years after, because of the outbreak of war: and the art deco set and the costumes reflect this. It's acknowledged to be autobiographical - the central character, ba Read more

Performance date: 29 July 2019

Fabulous! Very funny, all the cast were excellent (except for person playing a “Scandinavian” who's accent kept veering towards South Africa, which was a little distracting). Andrew Scott was brilliant - perfect comic timing in the perfect role. Marv Read more

Performance date: 22 June 2019

Andrew Scott gives a spectacular performance that really elevates this comedy. I found some of the humour didn't meet the mark but Scott really helps the pace and tone of the play move along. The final act is hilarious.

Performance date: 21 June 2019
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