Cygnet Theatre announces cast of Noël Coward’s Present Laughter

By SDCN Editor

San Diego, CA–Cygnet Theatre has announced the cast and creative team of “Noël Coward’s classic comedy, Present Laughter.” 

The play is directed by Rosina Reynolds and runs from March 29 to April 29 at Cygnet Theatre in Old Town. 

“Present Laughter” is a lighthearted farce that celebrates playwright Noël Coward’s legendary wit and larger-than-life persona. Based on Coward himself, actor Garry Essendine is the star of the London theatrical scene at the height of his fame and adored by legions of admirers–perhaps a little too much. Fans regularly throw themselves at Essendine’s feet, drawn in by his charm and charisma, throwing his household into chaos. In the week before he is set to embark on an African tour, he is forced to juggle a besotted young woman with stars in her eyes, an unhinged young playwright obsessed with being in Essendine’s presence, his best friend’s wife who is determined to seduce him, his manager, his producer, his secretary, his estranged ex-wife, and an impending mid-life crisis.

“The artistic team turned to Sir Noël Coward when we were looking for a classic comedy to bring to Cygnet. His plays were ahead of their times and are certainly fun and relevant today,” states Artistic Director Sean Murray. “I’ve been a Coward fan and aficionado since I was a teen. Something about his steadfast determination to create himself without apologies was inspiring to me.

“Noel Coward’s Present Laughter is a perfect example of High Comedy or Comedy of Manners. It’s a far cry from bloodless refined wordy plays – their themes are mostly sex and money. The wit is sparkling, the language as often used as a weapon as used for seduction. These are characters who know how to spar verbally, and enjoy every minute of it,” Reynolds said.

Featuring Cygnet Theatre’s Artistic Director Sean Murray as Garry Essendine, the cast includes Drew Bradford (Fred), Trevor Cruse (Roland), Melissa Fernandes (Monica), Steven Lone (Morris), Lindsey Young (Daphne), Annie Hinton (Miss Erikson/Lady Saltburn), James Newcomb (Henry), Shana Wride (Liz), and Amanda Sitton (Joanna). 

Reversing roles after Murray directed Reynolds in the rotating rep “Hay Fever” and “The Vortex,” Reynolds will now direct Murray in “Present Laughter.” He will also be reunited with former “Private Lives” cast members Annie Hinton and Shana Wride. 

In addition to direction by Reynolds, the creative team for Cygnet’s production of “Present Laughter” includes scenic design by Tony Cucuzzella, lighting design by Colby Freel, sound design by TJ Fucella, props design by Bonnie Durbin, costume design by Elisa Benzoni, wig and makeup design by Peter Herman, casting by Kian Kline-Chilton, and stage management by Craig Campbell. 

Tickets for the show are on sale and may be purchased in person at the box office at 4040 Twiggs Street in San Diego Old Town Historic State Park, by calling (619) 337-1525 or by visiting Cygnet Theatre. Regular ticket prices start at $32.



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