Head of The Old Vic Matthew Warchus, who directs the new production of Present Laughter, describes the play as 'a giddy and passionate observation of narcissism, hero worship and loneliness' with 'surprising depths'.
The show follows Garry, a middle-aged actor with a penchant for light comedy, silky sleepwear and self-obsession. Over the course of a few days we see Garry fend off multiple seduction attempts, negotiate with a frenzied playwright and confront his own impending midlife crisis. It's far from hard-hitting drama, but it is certainly a lot of fun.
The farcical set up is buoyed by Coward's characteristic quick quips. Indeed the play itself was a vehicle for his wit: Coward later admitted that he wrote Present Laughter purely to provide himself with a 'bravura part', and that the character is based on himself. Garry has since been played by the likes of Peter O'Toole, Simon Callow and Ian McKellen.
Following in these prodigious footsteps is Andrew Scott. From a devious Moriarty and a mercurial Hamlet to the handsome priest in Fleabag, Scott brings a wry comedy to his roles. The BAFTA-winning actor returns to The Old Vic after the superlative one-man show Sea Wall and sellout Dublin Carol.
Tickets for Present Laughter at The Old Vic go on sale on Monday 25 March.
|What||Present Laughter, Old Vic Theatre|
|Where||The Old Vic, The Cut, London, SE1 8NB | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Waterloo (underground)|
17 Jun 19 – 10 Aug 19, 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM
|Price||£12 - £65|
|Website||Click here for more information and tickets|