14 July - 5 Sept 2009. 'Present Laughter' follows a few hectic days in the life of self-obsessed actor Garry Essendine who is faced with a series of farcical and frenetic events including having to placate his ex-wife, fend off adoring women, and deal with a crazed playwright. Taking place under the shadow of his impending 40th birthday, suddenly the errors of his ways catch up on him with explosive results.
A virtual mid-life crisis on stage, Coward described the story as 'a series of semi-autobiographical pyrotechnics'. Coward (1899 - 1973) was an English playwright, composer, director, actor and singer who was celebrated for his wit and flamboyance. Time Magazine described him as possessing 'a sense of personal style, a combination of cheek and chic, pose and poise'.
The play is directed by Alan Stanford with the help of the creative team responsible for the successes of Wilde's 'Lady Windemere's Fan' and Maugham's 'The Constant Wife'.