Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Theatre: Present Laughter (★★★★)

Laura McDonald and Martin Quinn
By Noel Coward
Directed by Vivian Munn
Set design by Kelly Fregon
Costume design by Kaitlin Brindley
Lighting design by Ellen Sergeant
Sound design by Kevin Tan
Performed by WAAPA 3rd Year acting students
Roundhouse Theatre, WAAPA
Until June 22

Doing Noel Coward is as easy as falling off a log. As you topple, all you have to be is beautiful and beautifully dressed, with an opera length cigarette holder in one hand and a Josephine glass in the other, a plum in your mouth and a little acid on your tongue.
And you’ve got to take yourself deadly seriously – but pause for the laughs.
That’s certainly the case in the visiting British director Vivian Munn’s high-gloss, glamorous take on Coward’s semi-autobiographical crowd pleaser, Present Laughter. 

Munn makes every character a treat, and, boy, do they deliver; from Quinn’s bantam rooster of an Essendine (he’s so like the comedian Michael McIntyre you sometimes have to look twice) to Mitchell Bourke’s Basil Fawlty of a forlorn hopeful playwright; from the flashing rapiers of Vickery and McDonald’s feuding femmes to the quick, delightful cameo of poor Daphne’s aunt, Lady Saltburn, by Ruby Maishmann.
These delicious young actors poke gleefully at Present Laughter as it floats past like bubbles and bursts in gaiety.
It was a pleasure to watch them at play.

Read the complete review in The West Australian

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