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Hidden Laughter

Hidden Laughter
Your Price: $15.95 CDN
Author: Simon Gray
Publisher: Samuel French
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 118
Pub. Date: 1993
ISBN-10: 0573693722
ISBN-13: 9780573693724
Cast Size: 3 women, 5 men

About the Play:

Hidden Laughter is a full-length dramatic comedy by Simon Gray. A literary agent and his wife buy a Devon cottage where she can write, children will be happy, and they can relax. Into their world walks the local vicar a classically comic character who tends their magnificent garden and their emotional if not spiritual needs as the outside world intrudes with failure and disillusionment.

Hidden Laughter is a hilarious look at the artistic pretensions of the young and the rich that charts a decade in the life of a London family transplanted to an idyllic country setting. Harry is a literary agent. Louise is a writer. They are young and happily married. As the play opens, we find them choosing a country house, an idyllic place where she can write, where small children will be happy, and where they can both relax. Into their country garden walks the local vicar, Ronnie, who with some surprising revelations about faith, brings doubt into Harry and Louise's smug existence. And, as the play moves on, and everyone grows up or grows older, country life seems to bring less and less joy and peace and proves to be quite the opposite of the idyll they envisage.

Hidden Laughter premiered in 1990 at the Theatre Royal in Brighton, England and moved to the Vaudeville Theatre in the West End of London. It was directed by Simon Gray. The American premiere was in 1992 at Hartford Stage Company in Hartford, Connecticut.

Cast: 3 women, 5 men

What people say:

"A sad divine comedy, superbly written. Gray nurses his characters and cares for them, but he never pampers them, or pities them, or presumes to use them as his spokesman. In this respect, he has become an English Chekhov... At the same time, Gray dispenses some of the incandescent malice and moral savagery of Coward at his acid best... But, of course, comparisons can only help you get your bearings. Gray is entirely his own man in this painful, querulous, warm, hard and mature play." — Sunday Times (London)

"Vibrant.... Full of quiet strengths and gentle virtues that can make it an absorbing and moving experience.... Wonderful comedy." — New York Daily News

"This fascinating play, his best in years, contains moments of hilarious comedy and others of bleak domestic tragedy." — Daily Telegraph (London)

"A subtle and moving play." — The Guardian (UK)

About the Playwright:

Simon Gray (1936-2008) was a British playwright who authored of over thirty plays. He also wrote many plays for television and radio, several novels, and eight memoirs. Simon Gray was appointed CBE in 2005 for services to drama and literature.

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