Present Laughter

The Old Vic, London

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Matthew Warchus directs Andrew Scott in Noёl Coward’s provocative comedy, Present Laughter.

‘I knew how deep your longing must be to have someone really to love you, to be with you, when I saw that dreadful prostitute come out of the spare room.’

‘That was not a prostitute. It was the husband of one of my dearest friends!’

This sparkling comedy about sex, fame and the theatre itself – and a man wrestling with his own self-image – is widely regarded as Noël Coward’s most autobiographical play.

Present Laughter ran from 17 June 2019 until 10 August 2019 at the Old Vic Theatre, London.

What’s it about?

Actor Garry Essendine is at the height of his fame. He’s handsome, witty, surrounded by adoring fans, and about to take his latest theatrical hit overseas. He’s also in the middle of a raging mid-life crisis.

Holed up in his studio, he is assailed from all quarters: a beautiful debutante wants to bed him, an aspiring playwright from Uckfield wants to worship him, and his own producer’s wife wants to… well, what exactly does she want?

Under the sardonic eye of his long-suffering secretary and the unshockable gaze of his estranged but determined wife, Garry struggles to keep all the balls in the air.

Who’s in it? Present Laughter Cast

The cast features Andrew Scott (Fleabag, Sherlock Holmes, Hamlet), Luke Thallon, Sophie Thompson, Suzie Toase and Indira Varma.

Creative Team

Written by Noёl Coward. Directed by Matthew Warchus with set & costumer by Rob Howell, lighting by Hugh Vanstone and sound by Simon Baker.


Show Information

Performance dates
Booking to 10 August 2019

Venue Information

The Old Vic, Waterloo Road, London, SE1 8NB
Nearest Tube or Train: Waterloo (Jubilee line, Northern line, Bakerloo line)
Nearest Buses: 1, 68, 168, 171, 172, 176, 188, 501
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