Approx advert and trailer run time: 25 mins
Film run time: 2h56m
Matthew Warchus, Artistic Director at London’s Old Vic theatre since September 2015, directs Andrew Scott in Noel Coward’s classic 1939 comedy, Present Laughter.
Forming part of our series of live recorded stage shows from the National Theatre, Coward’s play takes its name from a line in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night: ‘Present mirth hath present laughter’ which could be paraphrased as ‘enjoy yourself whilst you can because things might not be so rosy later. Which is a surprisingly prescient choice of name considering the play’s release had to be delayed by three years due to the outbreak of WWII.
Scott (thanks to Fleabag’s global success, now universally known as ‘Hot Priest’) stars as vainglorious actor Garry Essendine as he prepares for a tour of Africa. He must resist the advances of arduous young admirers (Enzo Cilenti) whilst placating his estranged wife (Indira Varma) and long-suffering secretary (Sophie Thompson) in a series of farcically escalating events that ultimately represents a timely depiction of the hollow nature of fame. Scott is in good company in his portrayal of Essendine, a role that has previously been tackled by such theatrical luminaries as Simon Callow, Ian McKellen and Noel Coward Himself.