""A virtuoso performance.""
-The Evening Standard-

"Panache fills the entire theatre."
-The Times-

"Slick, witty and unexpectedly tender."
-The Stage-

Sorry, Present Laughter closed on 10 Aug 2019

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About the show

Matthew Warchus directs a star-studded cast in Noёl Coward’s comedy Present Laughter this June. This enduring classic delivers Coward's trademark humour and a generous helping of farce, and this new revival looks set to draw crowds. See it at the Old Vic from 17 June 2019.

Written in 1939 and first produced in 1942, Present Laughter was described by Coward as "a series of semi-autobiographical pyrotechnics". A great many revivals have kept the play alive over the decades; stars have included Ian McKellen, Albert Finney, Peter O'Toole and Rik Mayall.

Ego-centric matinée idol Garry Essendine is finding the weight of his personal and professional relationships a daily struggle. He has too many people to please, from his patient house staff, put-upon secretary and estranged wife to his young fans. It seems clear that a mid-life crisis is looming.

Andrew Scott plays the lead role of Garry. A star of film, television and stage, he is perhaps most recognisable as Moriarty in the TV series Sherlock, for which he won a BAFTA. No stranger to the London stage, he has starred in Hamlet and Sea Wall.

Sharing the stage with Scott are Luke Thallon (The Inheritance), Indira Varma (HBO's Game of Thrones), Sophie Thompson (The Importance of Being Earnest) and Suzie Toase (One Man, Two Guvnors).

Matthew Warchus is Artistic Director at the Old Vic, a position he has held since September 2015. He has been decorated with an Olivier for Best Director for Hamlet among many other awards.

Set and costume design is the work of Rob Howell, lighting comes from Hugh Vanstone and sound is courtesy of Simon Baker.

A delightful light comedy in the hands of a revered director, this revival has a lot going for it. Catch the divinely comical Present Laughter at the Old Vic from 17 June 2019.

Who Should See It?

If you enjoyed Andrew Scott's performance in Hamlet at the Almeida or Harold Pinter Theatre, now's your chance to see the actor in a comedy role onstage. Fans of Noёl Coward’s light-hearted comedy style will want to secure Present Laughter tickets for this limited summer run.

Playing at

Old Vic Theatre
103 The Cut
Seating Plan

Old Vic Theatre seating plan

Booking period

17th Jun 2019

16th Oct 2019

10th Aug 2019

Running time

2 hours 30 minutes (including interval)


Recommended 11+