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Present Laughter

Present Laughter

Play


Writer:
  • shakespeare
  • actor
  • show business
  • africa
  • seduction
  • mid-life crisis
  • semi-autobiographical
  • love
  • affair


Overview


Synopsis

A famous actor, Garry Essendine, finds himself visited by a young admirer, Daphne Stillington, who manages to convince him to allow her to stay the night. The next day, Garry manages to convince her to leave -- but only after Daphne meets all three of his employees. Garry's ex-wife, Liz Essendine, with whom he is still in contact, suspects that his manager, Morris Dixon, is having an affair with Joanna (the wife of Garry's producer, Harry Lyppiatt). When Liz tries to talk to Garry about it, a young playwright, Roland Maule, comes in eager for Garry's critique of his new play. Garry ushers him out as quickly as possible, and later inquires with Morris about whether he had any sort of affair. Morris denies an affair, and Garry tells Liz of the news. Joanna shows up at Garry's house later, however, and seduces him. Liz finds out, and tries to blackmail Joanna, but Roland arrives to talk with Garry again. Ultimately, Lady Saltburn, the aunt of an aspiring actress, has been promised an audition for her niece, and arrives to make good on Garry's pledge to her, with her niece in tow. It turns out that this very niece is, in fact, Daphne. Garry ends up buying a ticket for a tour in Africa to escape all the craziness, but Daphne, Roland, Joanna, and Liz all arrive in succession to inform him that they, too, have bought tickets for the same tour. Morris and Harry come to yell at Garry for having sex with Joanna, but he reveals his knowledge of their own sexual escapades, prompting Joanna to leave. Ultimately, Garry and Liz decide to get together again, leaving Daphne and Roland locked in an adjacent room.


Characters

Male

Lead

Spoken

Female

Lead

Spoken

Female

Supporting

Spoken



Show Information

Book:
Category
Play
Number of Acts:
3 Acts
First Produced:
1942
Genres
Comedy, Historical/Biographical
Cast Size
medium
Casting Notes:
Mostly female cast
Includes adult, young adult, mature adult characters
Tags:
  • shakespeare
  • actor
  • show business
  • africa
  • seduction
  • mid-life crisis
  • semi-autobiographical
  • love
  • affair

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