From Light In The Piazza to Present Laughter via West End Live: That Stagey Blog reflects on another busy week.
First of all let’s say that Andrew Scott is a marvel in Present Laughter, a 21st century Ur-Coward hero, who manages to do it without either the matey crassness lately inflicted on the part by Rufus Hound, or that retro, clipped Cowardspeak which echoes the Master too much.
Love London Love Culture rounds up the reviews for this revival of Noel Coward’s comedy Present Laugher now playing at the Old Vic Theatre.
Noël Coward would have thoroughly approved of Andrew Scott’s gloriously outrageous turn as ageing matinée idol, Garry Essendine, in The Old Vic’s reinvention of Present Laughter.
The Old Vic’s production of Present Laughter finally feels as though we’re shaking off some of the restraints that have shackled Noel Coward to the past.
An exciting couple of months coming up on the Fringe – this month I’m checking out Theatre N16’s new venue for a couple of shows, for one thing, and next month The Bunker Theatre will be a bit of a hotbed for new writing.
The entire cast of Present Laughter executed every scene with a fabulous, animated, flamboyant energy yet there seemed to be an awful lot of unnecessary shouting throughout this production.
Yes, the Present Laughter is a bit jokey and, as one critic has said, cartoonish, but perhaps that is just what audiences want. You can’t say that it isn’t entertaining.
What begins as a comedy of manners in Present Laugher does turn gradually into true farce: wrong people behind doors, disastrous revelations of affairs, panic. And in this area director Sean Foley is wholly reliable.
The full company has been revealed for the opening production of Chichester’s Festival 2018, Noël Coward’s Present Laughter, with Rufus Hound as Garry Essendine, Katherine Kingsley as Liz Essendine and Tracy-Ann Oberman as Monica Reed.
Matt Lucas, Tracy-Ann Oberman and Patricia Hodge will be joining the Festival 2018 cast at Chichester Festival Theatre.
Chichester Festival Theatre’s Festival 2018 season, announced today, will feature new plays by Laura Wade and Charlotte Jones and revivals of Michael Frayn’s Copenhagen and musical Flowers For Mrs Harris.
Touring productions are the vast majority of shows that I go along to review, so whittling down a shortlist of the top ones from 2016 is no mean feat. The task has been eased somewhat as a few of my personal idols have been treading the boards this year and their appearances were highlights in themselves.
Rebecca Johnson is an actress whose work I was already familiar with, having seen her last Christmas as Mrs Darling in Wendy and Peter Pan at the RSC in Stratford. I rated her performance, then, and she has continued to impress me now that she is starring as Liz Essendine, alongside Samuel West as Garry Essendine, in Noel Coward’s Present Laughter.
I am playing Daphne Stillington, a 24-year-old debutante, who has fallen hook, line and sinker for Garry Essendine (played by Samuel West), a hugely successful and famous theatre actor. I am really enjoying the tour – yes! Such a talented and lovely group of actors and company of creative.