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Present Laughter

Present Laughter
Your Price: $15.95 CDN
Author: Noel Coward
Publisher: Samuel French
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 107
Pub. Date: 2017
ISBN-10: 0573614253
ISBN-13: 9780573614255

About the Play:

Present Laughter is a full-length comedy by Noël Coward. This totally-irresistible and semi-autobiographical comedy follows a self-obsessed actor in the midst of a mid-life crisis. Freely indulging his considerable appetite for wine, women and sleeping late, the theatre's favourite leading man suddenly finds himself caught between fawning ingénues, crazed playwrights, secret trysts and unexpected twists.

Present Laughter follows a few days in the life of the successful, self-obsessed light comedy actor Garry Essendine: suave, hedonistic and too old, says his wife, to be having numerous affairs. His line in harmless, infatuated debutantes is largely tolerated but playing closer to home is not. Just as he prepares to travel for a touring commitment in Africa the full extent of his misdemeanours is discovered. And all hell breaks loose. Amid a series of events bordering on farce, Garry has to deal with women who want to seduce him, placate both his long-suffering secretary and his estranged wife, cope with a crazed young playwright, and overcome his impending mid-life crisis. Noel Coward's Present Laughter premiered in the early years of the Second World War just as such privileged lives were threatened with fundamental social change.

Present Laughter premiered in 1942 at the Grand Theatre in Blackpool, England while on European tour. It then premiered on Broadway in 1946 at the Plymouth Theatre. It spawned five Broadway revivals, and has enjoyed enduring international popularity. It remains a popular choice for community theatre productions.

Cast: 6 women, 5 men.

What people say:

"Sharp, withering and funny." — The New York Times

"Sharpness and wit...in each succeeding act." — New York Post

About the Playwright:

Sir Noël Coward (1899-1973) was one of the greatest playwrights of the 20th Century. Also a composer, director, actor and singer, he first made his name as a playwright with The Vortex, in which he also appeared. His numerous other successful plays included Fallen Angels, Hay Fever, Private Lives, Design for Living, and Blithe Spirit. He was knighted in 1970.