Despite a repetitive plot, the entertaining play is saved by remarkable performances by Andrew Scott and Indira Varma among many other talented actors including Sophie Thompson and Luke Thallon.
In the story, star actor Garry Essendine spirals out of control in a messy tornado of vanity, sex, identity-searching and loneliness. A caricature of the author’s real-life persona, the actual play oscillates between French vaudeville and lazy comedy. Andrew Scott’s performance as a childish, handsome, impetuous, lonesome actor is mind-blowing.
Image: Andrew Scott and Indira Varma in Present Laughter at the Old Vic. Photograph: Manuel Harlan