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Matthew Warchus to direct Andrew Scott in Present Laughter at The Old Vic

Andrew Scott

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

MATTHEW Warchus is to direct Andrew Scott in Noёl Coward’s provocative comedy, Present Laughter, which runs at The Old Vic from Monday, June 17 to Saturday, August 10, 2019.

I knew how deep your longing must be to have someone really to love you, to be with you, when I saw that dreadful prostitute come out of the spare room.

That was not a prostitute. It was the husband of one of my dearest friends!

The cast also includes Luke Thallon, Sophie Thompson, Suzie Toase and Indira Varma.

Director, Matthew Warchus, said: “Originally titled Sweet Sorrow, Noël Coward’s most autobiographical work is a giddy and passionate observation of narcissism, hero worship and loneliness. Most of my favourite plays are comedies with added emotional dimensions and Present Laughter is a laugh-out-loud sex comedy with, I think, surprising depths. I’m delighted to be working with Andrew Scott again (after collaborating on the film Pride), together with what promises to be a cast of outstanding comic actors.”

Andrew Scott’s theatre work includes: Design for Living, Dublin Carol (The Old Vic); Sea Wall (The Old Vic/Bush/Traverse/National Theatre/Dublin Festival Theatre); Hamlet – Critics’ Circle Award for Best Shakespearean performance (Almeida/West End); The Vertical Hour (Broadway); Cock, A Girl in a Car with a Man – Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in an Affiliate Theatre – Birdland (Royal Court); Aristocrats, Emperor (National Theatre); and A Woman of No Importance (Abbey, Dublin).

Scott’s screen credits include Fleabag, Modern Love, King Lear, SherlockBAFTA for Best Supporting Actor – The Hollow Crown, The Town and Band of Brothers (TV); Steel Country, Spectre, Jimmy’s Hall, Victor Frankenstein, Locke, PrideBIFA for Best Supporting Actor – Denial, Swallows and Amazons and Saving Private Ryan (film).

Winner of the Michael Bryant Award and Laurence Olivier Bursary Prize, Luke Thallon’s theatre credits include: Family Voices, The Room (West End); Cock (Chichester Festival Theatre); The Inheritance (Young Vic); Misalliance (Orange Tree Theatre); Albion (Almeida); and Bent (National Theatre). He has also appeared in the film The Favourite.

Sophie Thompson

Sophie Thompson’s theatre work includes: The Importance of Being Earnest (West End); Guys & Dolls (Chichester/West End); Clybourne Park (Royal Court/West End); Female of the Species (West End); She Stoops to Conquer (National Theatre); The Physicists, Into the Woods – Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical (Donmar Warehouse); Company (Donmar/West End);and Wildest Dreams, All’s Well That Ends Well, As You Like It (RSC).

Thompson’s screen credits include Coronation Street, Gert Lush Christmas, The Detectorists, Celebrity Masterchef (Winner 2014), A Room with a View, EastEnders and Persuasion (TV); Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Gosford Park, Dancing at Lughansa, Emma and Four Weddings and a Funeral (film). Her books include: Zoo Boy, Zoo Boy and The Jewel Thieves and My Family Kitchen.

Suzie Toase’s theatre includes: One Man, Two Guvnors (National Theatre/West End/Broadway); Guys and Dolls (Donmar/West End); My Fair Lady (National Theatre/West End); Merrily We Roll Along (Donmar); Talent (Menier Chocolate Factory); Hobson’s Choice (Watermill Theatre); Into The Woods (ROH); Singin’ in the Rain (Leeds Playhouse/National Theatre); Spittin’ Distance (Stephen Joseph Theatre, Yorkshire); The Boyfriend (UK tour); The Wizard of Oz (Birmingham Repertory Theatre); and Time of My Life (Bristol Old Vic).

Toase’s screen work includes Call The Midwife, Hotel Babylon and The IT Crowd (TV); Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (film).

Indira Varma’s theatre work includes: The Hothouse (West End); Celebration, One for the Road (Broadway); Dance of Death, Twelfth Night, The Vortex, Privates on Parade (Donmar); Exit The King, Man and Superman, Ivanov, Remembrance of Things Past, Othello (National Theatre); The Treatment, Five Gold Rings (Almeida); Tiger Country (Hampstead Theatre); Titus Andronicus (Shakespeare’s Globe); Hysteria (Theatre Royal Bath); Ingredient X, The Vertical Hour, The Country (Royal Court); and The Skin of Our Teeth (Young Vic).

Indira Varma

Varma’s screen credits include Carnival Row, Melrose, Game of Thrones, What Remains, Luther, Love Soup, Hustle, Torchwood, Broken News and Rome (TV); The One and Only Ivan, Official Secrets, Close, Exodus, Bride and Prejudice and Kamasutra (film).

Director Matthew Warchus’ numerous credits include A Christmas Carol, Art, The Caretaker, The Master Builder, Future Conditional, Speed-the-Plow (The Old Vic); Groundhog Day, The Norman Conquests (The Old Vic/Broadway); Matilda the Musical (RSC/West End/Broadway/International tour); Ghost The Musical, La Bête, God of Carnage (West End/Broadway); Deathtrap, Endgame, Our House, Much Ado About Nothing (West End); Boeing-Boeing (West End/Broadway/UK tour); The Lord of the Rings (also co-writer, Toronto/West End); Buried Child, Volpone (National Theatre); and Follies (Broadway).

Warchus was an Associate Director at the Leeds Playhouse and Artistic Associate at The Old Vic before being appointed Artistic Director of the theatre in 2014.

As well as Present Laughter, Noёl Coward’s staged works include: The Vortex, Easy Virtue, Fallen Angels, Hay Fever, Private Lives, Cavalcade, Design for Living, Tonight at 8.30, This Happy Breed, Song at Twilight, Blithe Spirit and Peace in Our Time. His film work includes: In Which We Serve, Brief Encounter, The Astonished Heart and Meet Me Tonight. Noël Coward also had a successful career in cabaret, as an actor, director and writing verse, short stories, novels and songs.

Present Laughter will be designed by Rob Howell, with lighting by Hugh Vanstone and sound by Simon Baker.

Present Laughter is suitable for ages 11+.

Audio Described Performance: Monday, August 5 at 7:30pm (touch tour at 6pm).

Captioned Performance: Thursday, August 8 at 7:30pm.

For more information or to book tickets, call the box office on 0844 871 7628 or visit