Noël Coward's 'hilarious' play Present Laughter is heading to the Queen Mother Theatre in Hitchin next month.

The play - performed by the Bancroft Players - tells the story of matinée idol Garry Essendon, who sits at the centre of his own universe.

Garry is suave and hedonistic, and is told by his wife that he's too old to be having numerous affairs.

His line in harmless, infatuated debutantes is largely tolerated, but playing closer to home is not.

Just before Garry escapes on tour to Africa the full extent of his misdemeanours is discovered, and all hell breaks loose.

Often thought to be semi-autobiographical, this new production of Present Laughter is set in the swinging sixties, and follows a few days in Garry's life as he prepares to flee on tour to prevent his transgressions being discovered.

Present Laughter was written in 1939 and first performed in 1942.


Tickets are available from, and cost £14 for adults and £12 for concessions.

The play opens on Monday, June 10 and runs until Saturday, June 15, with a matinée performance on the Saturda.

Performances are at 7.45pm, while the Saturday matinée takes place at 2.30pm.

A licensed bar and refreshments will be available.