LIMA — Encore Theatre will wow audiences with acclaimed playwright Noel Coward’s “Present Laughter” for the next two weekends.
“Present Laughter” follows popular actor Garry Essendine as he prepares to embark on an extended overseas tour, only to be constantly sidetracked by a variety of colorful characters. For director Christopher Butturff, this play will appeal to those who enjoy intelligent, dialogue-driven humor.
“I would say it is an elegant, sophisticated comedy of manners with a little false in there,” he said. “High-brow humor would be the best way to describe it. There is a good mix of 11 different types of characters trying to get Garry’s attention in their own ways, with Garry simply trying to get out of town.”
Despite being more than 60 years old, this play may strike a familiar tone for today’s audiences.
“You might recognize it as a precursor to the situational comedy, or sitcom,” Butturff said. “Before television was popular, this is what people would go see.”
The cast for this production is definitely a strength, according to Butturff.
“I love watching these actors work,” he said. “I forget that I’m directing them sometimes. I love the show and this wonderfully talented cast come together. There’s a lot of cameraderie on the stage.”
Butturff noted that this play does deal with some adult themes, making it not the best option for young children.
“I would probably give it a PG-13 rating,” Butturff said. “Even though it’s an older play from the 1940s, it’s still very relatable today.”