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Nöel Coward’s hilarious play is reborn in this modern production of Present Laughter.

Andrew Scott is an icon. Every dramatic appearance he’s made on our screens, or onstage, has been an unforgettable one. Whether it be as psychopath Moriarty in BBC’s Sherlock, Gethin in Pride, charming Hamlet onstage, or the Hot Priest in Fleabag, Scott is an Irish treasure.

(Get your tickets to Present Laughter here.)

Present Laughter
Andrew Scott, as Garry Essendine. Photo: Manuel Harlan

He’s just the latest in a line of big names (think Ian McKellen) to take the leading role in Nöel Coward’s play, Present Laughter. The play is by all means not new to the West End, though – it was written in 1939, and first performed in 1943. However, today’s director Matthew Warchus has given this celebrated comedy some modern twists.

Present Laughter
Photo: Manuel Harlan

Present Laughter follows the life of famous matinee idol and rakish hero, Garry Essendine. Garry is a narcissistic, flamboyant egomaniac who has reached an identity crisis whilst slipping into middle age. Though he is separated from his bolshy, independent wife Liz (played by Indira Varma, of Game of Thrones fame), Garry is determined to live a youthful life of debauchery and splendour at the age of 41. But through his pleasure, he inflicts the trauma of his sexual appetite upon his intense, obsessive fans… and friends too.

Present Laughter
Indira Varma, as Liz Essendine. Photo: Manuel Harlan

In Coward’s original script, Garry’s character is given both female and male sexual partners (although the latter more discreetly), but director Warchus has given the comedy a more modern twist by openly showing that Garry is bisexual. This seems to be a much-needed comparison to the present day, showing that gender and sexuality can indeed be fluid.

Present Laughter
Andrew Scott as Garry Essendine and Enzo Cilenti as Joe Lyppiat. Photo: Manuel Harlan

Amidst his dazzling life, it seems that Garry’s friends want everything from him – at all times. While they accuse him of being overdramatic and inappropriate in his sexual endeavours, they themselves are indulging in affairs of all natures – making this play’s original title of Sweet Sorrow seem rather fitting.

Present Laughter
Photo: Manuel Harlan

Age has crept up on Garry, and it seems his only true friend lies in the company of his hilarious secretary Monica (Sophie Thompson). Still, even she has a life that doesn’t revolve around Garry, and he spends many a night alone with only sherry for company. The loneliness Garry feels after dark is poignant, and he turns to what he knows and does best – sex, but with the wrong people. It’s worth noting here that Coward cleverly chose Essendine as a surname for his protagonist, as it is an anagram of ‘neediness’.

Present Laughter
Photo: Manuel Harlan

Present Laughter is a pleasure. Scott’s performance is fantastic, and he is an entertainer of the highest degree. Garry Essendine is the perfect role for Scott to mould as his own – he perfectly imbues each scene with a glint in his eye that combines Moriarty’s psychopathic nature, and the Hot Priest’s raw, sexual prowess. It is simply unmissable.

Present Laughter runs at The Old Vic until August 10th – get your tickets here!

Words by Emmie Harrison.

The post Andrew Scott Is Mesmerising In The Old Vic’s ‘Present Laughter’ appeared first on Secret London.

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On Friday, July 5th, chef Freddy Bird will open his first solo venture – littlefrench – in his own neighbourhood of Westbury Park, inspired by his travels with wife Nessa and her French family.

This family-owned, neighbourhood restaurant will be found at 2B North View (previously home to Mesa and Manna), and will serve up “classic, unpretentious and regional French food with a relaxed, friendly vibe”.

Seating up to 50 and open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner (except for Sundays when it’ll be brunch and a littlefrench version of the traditional Sunday roast on offer), diners can expect bread baked freshly every day, as well as Freddy Bird’s famous ice creams, which will be sold by tricycle to locals.

You’ll also find a wine bar and bottle shop at littlefrench, with unusual and exciting wines by the glass and a range of cellar wines, which promise to be sensibly priced. Freddy will be working closely with his wife, Nessa, who will be responsible for all the restaurant’s design, interiors and marketing, and all the crockery and ceramics have been hand-thrown in Freddy’s mum’s studio.

You’ll find more info about littlefrench on the website, when it goes live…good luck to Freddy and the team with the opening!


The post littlefrench to open on July 5th in Westbury Park appeared first on Bristol Bites.

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Woky Ko launch new menu Nestled in Wapping Wharf on Bristol’s buzzing harbourside, Woky Ko: CARGO swung open its doors in late-October, 2016 – capturing attention with a bold menu of delicate flavours. Talented chef-owner Larkin Cen has recently added to the family with Park St’s Woky Ko: Kauto, and the two combined offer some of the finest […]

The post New Year Menu Twist at Woky Ko appeared first on Best of Bristol.

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This is a sponsored article on behalf of Wembley Park.

Le nozze di figaro at the Royal Opera House. Photo: Mark Douet

There’s nothing so glam as a night of the opera. But if your pennies can’t quite stretch as far as a trip to the Royal Opera House, or if you’d simply prefer to drink in your next dose of culture from the comfort of a deckchair, then you need to know about Summer on Screen at Wembley Park.

As part of its programme of free outdoor film screenings, the arty north west London neighbourhood has joined forces with the Royal Opera House. This July, you can catch not one but two, thrilling productions broadcast live from Covent Garden to Wembley Park’s pop up, open air cinema.

On Tuesday 2 July, you can see the Opera House’s take on Georges Bizet’s magnum opus, Carmen. Sizzling with passion, Carmen dramatises the downfall of Don Jose, a Spanish soldier consumed by his obsession with our eponymous antiheroine. Directed by Barrie Koksy, this musical-inspired revival features all of Bizet’s best bangers, including Habanera (which even if you’re not big on classical music, you might recognise that one from a particularly grim scene in Trainspotting).

Before the show, roving ballet act Cirque du Ballet will wow the audience with classical dance… with a twist. The whole event is free to attend, but should be booked in advance — you can do so here.

Anna Goryachova as Carmen © Royal Opera House. Photo: Billy Cooper

The following week, on Thursday 9 July, it’s time for The Marriage of Figaro. Mozart’s great comic opera tells the tale of two servants engaged to be married, and the lascivious count who attempts to sabotage their plans.  

The screening is preceded by a bit of edible entertainment, during which stilt-walkers and dancers draped in golden vines will pirouette and plie along Olympic Way to dispense chocolate grapes to the audience. How’s that for a pre-show snack? Book your free ticket here.

Summer on Screen is at Wembley Park until 23 July. For the full programme, and to book your free place, click here.

Who else loves Brizzle


Woky Ko launch new menu Nestled in Wapping Wharf on Bristol’s buzzing harbourside, Woky Ko: CARGO swung open its doors in late-October, 2016 – capturing attention with a bold menu of delicate flavours. Talented chef-owner Larkin Cen has recently added to the family with Park St’s Woky Ko: Kauto, and the two combined offer some of the finest […]

The post New Year Menu Twist at Woky Ko appeared first on Best of Bristol.

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Looking for things to do in Bristol this Summer? Download or pick up your copy of the Knowle West Media Centre What’s On Guide and find out what’s happening between June and September 2019.

We hope there’s something for everyone: whether you’re looking for free holiday activities for young people to things to see in South Bristol on Bristol Open Doors weekend.

The programme also includes details of our regular events, including monthly sewing sessions at KWMC: The Factory, a new Project Night for artists and creatives to bring their work in progress and get feedback in a supportive environment, and the next live recordings of the We Can Make Chat Show.

Download a copy of our What’s On Guide – Summer 2019.

We hope to welcome you to Knowle West soon!


The post Things to do in Bristol this summer appeared first on KWMC.

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Ye old salty seadogs are sailing back in for two days of FREE, family, pirate fun at The Galleries this Summer and you’re invited to join them.

Pirate fun at The Galleries

The team at The Galleries are inviting customers to bring their little buccaneers to join Captain Hook and Smee for some swashbuckling entertainment from 11AM – 4PM on Friday 26 & Saturday 27 July. They’ll be sailing in on the Jolly Roger to host two pirate shows each day and lots more sea-worthy shenanigans…

There will be the chance for young shoppers to pose for photos in their pirate-themed set, meet and pose for Instagram-worthy photos with a captured mermaid and create their own pirate disguise in the transformation craft workshops. Families will also be able to play in the tin can alley and enjoy balloon modelling and pirate glitter tattoos, before taking their turn to walk the plank!

There will also be the opportunity to win £50 to spend at The Entertainer when customers share their photos of the event via social media and tag The Galleries in their post. Customers should follow Galleries Bristol on Facebook and Instagram to find out more.

The post Pirate fun at The Galleries appeared first on Bristol Shopping Quarter.