Present Laughter by Noel Coward

Sunday 11th – Saturday 17th March

With about 10 days to go until ‘opening night’ (its actually an opening matinee but you know what I mean!), rehearsals are in full swing and we’re getting into costume for some brilliant photos by the ever excellent Miles Davies.

Despite illness (mostly my own cough splutter!), snow and holidays, rehearsals have been going really well.  Everyone is working very hard to bring to life the magic that is Noel Coward.  This will be the second Coward that I’ve directed (having first directed Blithe Spirit a couple of years ago) and it still brings me much joy!

Present Laughter is a great light comedy written with Coward’s usual ease and brilliance.  Paul Morley is Garry Essendine, the (slightly) fading matinee idol whose ‘exploits’ have been tolerated until he plays too close to home…. Charlotte Atkinson is the young Daphne and new member Sarah Griffin is the enigmatic Joanna  - both of whom are hoping that Garry will ‘be the one’.  Garry is kept in check by Mandy-Jane Jackson as ex-wife Liz and Tess Gill as the long-suffering secretary Monica.  Keeping the ‘house in order’ are Mimi Goddard as the slightly eccentric Miss Erikson and Ciaron O’Connor as down-to-earth Fred.  As well as dealing with troubles in his love life, Garry has to deal with his business partners Henry and Morris, played by Mike Skinner and Steven Adams respectively.  On top of all this, Garry has found a new ‘fan’ in Roland Maule, played by Neil Drew, and also has Lady Saltburn (played by Carrie Lambe) pushing her niece to audition….

As well as the great cast, I have been very lucky to be supported by Mimi Goddard as Assistant Director.  Myles Locke, as Stage Manager, is keeping everyone on track backstage (as well as producing what seems like endless letters and postcards!).  I couldn’t be happier with costumes, organised by the ever brilliant Margaret Skeet.  With lighting design by Bev Grover and a great set designed and built by Steven Adams with help from Tom Williams everything is in place for a great show!

I do hope to see you during the run!

Leigh Ward

Present Laughter opens on Sunday 11th March (with a matinee at 2.30pm) and runs through until Saturday 17th March (7 performances).  Tickets available in the usual ways, online at www.brightonlittletheatre.com or via telephone on 0844 888 0432.