Present Laughter

Present Laughter
Director: Matthew Warchus
Writer: Noël Coward
Cast: Andrew Scott, Indira Varma, Enzo Cilenti, Kitty Archer, Liza Sadovy, Joshua Hill, Sophie Thompson, Suzanne Toase, Luke Thallon, Abdul Salis
Seen on: 28.11.2019

Plot:
Garry (Andrew Scott) is a famous actor, but he has recently struggled with what he wants to do. Just as well that he is preparing to travel to Africa. But until then, he is still busy with aspiring actors like Daphne (Kitty Archer) or playwrights like Roland (Luke Thallon). Even more so, though, with his own circle of friends, including his ex-wife Liz (Indira Varma), and their various entanglements.

Present Laughter is a good production of a very good play that sometimes got a little too frantic and exhausting for me. But it often gets it right, and when it does, it is really fantastic.

The production poster showing Garry (Andrew Scott) hugging himself against a gray wall.

Garry is a very exalted character and that is generally not so much my thing. Andrew Scott captures his dramatic flair perfectly, but that is exactly what I often struggled with. It was just a little too much for me and every once in a while, I just wished for a bit of a break. Not just from Garry, don’t get me wrong, but also from the comedy of errors part of the play with its constant case of mistaken identities. I can just perfectly understand why Garry is having a crisis if this incessant motion and coming and going is his life, is what I’m saying.

That being said, the play definitely has funny moments, and a great cast. But for me, it really is at its best in the scene between Joe (Enzo Cilenti) (from what I gather, in the original a female character) and Garry. Here, the play becomes calmer and Garry emotionally honest (and honestly emotional). That scene was simply incredible and worth the price of admission on its own.

Garry (Andrew Scott) talking to Liz (Indira Varma), both with serious to almost disgusted facial expressions.

Generally, even if the pace and tone of the play weren’t so much my cup of tea, I can easily acknowledge that it is a really good play with strong characters and good dialogue. And the cast is wonderful in this production. So, if you can catch it, you definitely should.

Almost the entire cast on stage in Garry's (Andrew Scott) apartment. Joe (Enzo Cilenti) is strutting angrily and points a finger at Garry.

Summarizing: definitely worth seeing.

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