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.
Recommended forIf 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.
Age Recommendations: Recommended 11+