Review: Present Laughter By Noel Coward, Cambridge Arts Theatre
- Credit: �Nobby Clark Photographer
Hugely entertaining and brilliantly written, this production of Noel Coward’s Present Laughter is a top notch show.
Playing to a packed Cambridge Arts Theatre, a truly excellent cast deliver every one liner, every speech, every nuance, every cutting remark and every raised eyebrow with style and skill, poise and panache.
Set in 1939, the first-rate Samuel West plays the part of Garry Essendine, a fading star whose complex love life, addiction to melodrama, self-absorbed tantrums and blatant narcissism provide the backdrop to the action.
Assisted by his secretary Monica - played by the marvellous Phyllis Logan – Garry is preparing for a trip to Africa as lovers come and go, friends fall in and out, and the thin, brittle world of stardom is laid bare.
With a fabulous drawing room set, the play glitters and shimmers with humour as Garry’s inability to determine where the acting stops and real life begins has farcical consequences.
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The supporting cast are of superlative quality, Zoe Boyle is superb as the predatory Joanna Lyppiatt as is Rebecca Johnson as Garry’s estranged-wife-who-knows-best Liz. Sally Tatum, as the scene-stealing chain-smoking maid Miss Erikson, is a charming crowd pleaser and Patrick Walshe McBride shines as the mentally deranged Roland Maule.
As Garry’s intimates demand his attention and time, this is a play about friendships, middle age, and the illusion of fame.
- 1 Family of hairdresser, 17, who died in her sleep 'overwhelmed' by tributes
- 3 Suffolk families stunned after homes transformed on Changing Rooms
- 4 Channel 4's Changing Rooms comes to Bury St Edmunds tonight
- 5 Teen among two arrested in armed police incident
- 6 Villagers call to stop 'hazardous' 5-week road closure with huge diversions
- 7 Suffolk coast named one of top UK destinations for autumn
- 8 Jail for man who threatened to 'do a Raoul Moat' and kill police
- 9 Couple fear they will never sell home after A12 upgrade outside
- 10 Donacien on his Ipswich Town future and why he wears the No.44 shirt
But this is a comedy first and foremost and the laughs flow from start to finish.
Directed by Stephen Unwin, this is an excellent production of a brilliant play.