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Noel Coward's funniest play hits MK

Date Posted:05/07/2016

Present LaughterTheatre Royal Bath Productions presents a brand new version of Noel Coward’s Present Laughter with Samuel West and Phyllis Logan at Milton Keynes Theatre 11 – 16 Jul as part of a UK tour, prior to a West End transfer.

Actor, charmer and diva, Garry Essendine is determined to disregard his advancing years and receding hairline by revelling in endless tantrums and casual affairs. But just as he is about to depart for Africa, he finds himself besieged by a bevvy of would-be seductresses, not to mention his long-suffering secretary, his estranged wife, and an obsessed young playwright. As he attempts to disentangle himself from their clutches and demands, the humour escalates, accompanied by delicious dialogue and sparkling repartee.

Often thought of as semi-autobiographical, Noël Coward’s Present Laughter is undoubtedly one of his funniest plays as he looks at life behind the theatrical curtain and reveals a world of glittering wits, dashing dressing gowns and ostentatious personalities.

Samuel West, whose acclaimed credits include Mr Selfridge and many leading classical roles for the RSC, plays Garry Essendine. Other credits include Howards End, Notting Hill, Van Helsing and Hyde Park on Hudson on film, Waking the Dead, Cambridge Spies and Any Human Heart on tv. He has portrayed both Richard II and Hamlet on stage with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Multi award-winning Phyllis Logan plays Monica, his acerbic secretary. Best known as the housekeeper Mrs Hughes in Downton Abbey and Lady Jane Felsham in Lovejoy, her film credits include Another Time, Another Place (for which she won both Evening Standard and BAFTA awards), Mike Leigh’s Secrets and Lies and 1984.

The cast also includes Daisy Boulton (Shakespeare in Love, West End), Rebecca Johnson (The Trip, The Trip to Italy), Toby Longworth (Not Going Out, Boomers), Jason Morrell (Oliver!, West End) and Elizabeth Holland, Zoe Boyle, Martin Hancock, Sally Tatum and Patrick Walshe McBride.

Stephen Unwin was Artistic Director of English Touring Theatre and the Rose Theatre, Kingston. His 2010 production of Coward’s Hay Fever received great critical acclaim.

Book now at Milton Keynes Theatre 0844 871 7652 * ** booking fees apply.  Calls 7p per min, [plus your phone company’s access charge