Present Laughter

Present Laughter

4.7 (22) · Modern

Matthew Warchus directs Andrew Scott in Noёl Coward’s provocative comedy.

Lyn Gardner avatar
20 March 2019  ·  Follow on Stagedoor
“Present Laughter is a revelation in the hands of director Matthew Warchus and his co-conspirator, Andrew Scott. They have evidently had fun with it and that sense of glee is transmitted to the audience right from the off – but they also deliver a reading that breaks your heart. Who would ever have thought Coward’s old war horse could be quite so funny but quite so tragic too? Not me.”


‘I knew how deep your longing must be to have someone really to love you, to be with you, when I saw that dreadful prostitute come out of the spare room.’

‘That was not a prostitute. It was the husband of one of my dearest friends!’

As he prepares to embark on an overseas tour, star actor Garry Essendine’s colourful life is in danger of spiralling out of control. Engulfed by an escalating identity crisis as his many and various relationships compete for his attention, Garry’s few remaining days at home are a chaotic whirlwind of love, sex, panic and soul-searching.

A giddy and surprisingly modern reflection on fame, desire and loneliness, Matthew Warchus directs Andrew Scott in Noël Coward’s provocative comedy Present Laughter.

Critic reviews

Present Laughter is a revelation in the hands of director Matthew Warchus and his co-conspirator, Andrew Scott

Lyn Gardner for Stagedoor

Andrew Scott's revelatory performance shows why Noel Coward is hailed a genius

The Telegraph

Coward’s midlife comedy is hot to trot

The Times

Andrew Scott gives a virtuoso performance

Evening Standard

Andrew Scott is dazzling good in an inventive, delightful and surprisingly poignant staging of Noel Coward's comedy

The Stage

It is a wonderfully enjoyable few hours in the theatre, which, as it should, brings comedy, but also tragedy, too


As good an opportunity as any to marvel at Andrew Scott as he is completely brilliant yet again

London Theatre

Scott locates the substance within Coward's theatrical soufflé

The Arts Desk

Andrew Scott is wondrous in this revelatory update of Noël Coward’s classic comedy

Time Out

This is a treat of a production

Financial Times

Date & time

Show ended
Wed 17 Jun - Sat 10 Aug, 2.30pm & 7.30pm


The Cut SE1 8NB London, UK · Get Directions
out of 5 stars
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