Noël Coward: Present Laughter
THEATRE AT MEGARON – NATIONAL THEATRE LIVE
As star actor Garry Essendine prepares to embark on an African tour, a chain of tragicomic events sends his life spiralling out of control. Within two giddy days, Garry, already tormented by a mid-life crisis, will find himself in a chaotic whirlwind of love, sex, and panic. The character is a caricature of Coward himself, by his own admission.
Matthew Warchus directs Andrew Scott (Professor Moriarty in BBC’s Sherlock) in Noël Coward’s 1939 comedy. The title derives from the ‘Carpe diem’ song in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night (‘Present mirth hath present laughter’).
The play was staged in 1942, when Coward followed Winston Churchill’s advice that he should stick to theatre and contribute to the war effort by entertaining the troops and the home front. He toured indefatigably in Europe, Africa, and Asia, acting and singing for the soldiers.
Director: Matthew Warchus
Garry Essendine: Andrew Scott
Joe Lyppiatt: Enzo Cilenti
Fred: Joshua Hill
Morris Dixon: Abdul Salis
Miss Erikson & Lady Saltburn: Liza Sadovy
Roland Maule: Luke Thallon
Monica Reed : Sophie Thompson
Helen Lyppiatt: Suzie Toase
Liz Essendine: Indira Varma
Daphne Stillington: Kitty Archer
Pre-recorded broadcast from The Old Vic Theatre in London
In collaboration with the British Embassy and the British Council in Athens
With English subtitles