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The best of British: English guest director at WAAPA for Coward’s classic comedy

Friday, 26 May 2017

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The WAAPA Visiting Artists Program, proudly supported by the Minderoo Foundation, brings one of Britain’s finest directors and educators to Perth to direct the 3rd Year Acting students in Noel Coward’s delightful comedy, Present Laughter from Friday, 16 to Thursday, 22 June at Edith Cowan University, Mount Lawley.

Vivian Munn, actor, director and educator at London’s prestigious Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, directs this delicious drawing-room comedy, described by the playwright as “a series of semi-autobiographical pyrotechnics”.

Present Laughter follows Garry Essendine, a 1930s stage star and aging playboy who receives a visit from an infatuated young admirer, initiating a parade of intruders and interruptions, including his ex-wife, his manager and an aspiring playwright. In typical Coward fashion, wickedly funny wordplay and biting bon mots grace the farcical fun.

Vivian Munn trained at RADA and for twenty years worked extensively as an actor. His theatre credits include playing opposite Vanessa Redgrave in Ibsen’s Ghosts at the West End’s Wyndham Theatre, and working with the Royal Shakespeare Company, English Shakespeare Company and Young Vic, among many others.

Munn has taught and directed at numerous English drama schools including E.15 Acting School and Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts. He is a RADA Academy Associate Teacher, Director of RADA Elders Company and the NYU Course Co-ordinator.

“It’s great to be back in Perth,” says Munn. “As an actor, I toured Australia with the English Shakespeare Company in 1991 and am thrilled to find myself in Western Australia once again, this time directing and teaching at WAAPA.

“I am delighted with the cast of Present Laughter. From their first reading of the text they have been keen to extend their skills and shown tremendous fortitude when tackling the writing which is notoriously difficult. The company have faced the task head on, not faltering for a moment and indeed revelling in the challenge that Coward poses. I have found this reaction very refreshing and their responses extremely uplifting.”

“It is an exciting introduction to the Master that is Noël Coward and the 3rd Year students are taking great delight in his world. The laughter is very much present and it is a joy to facilitate their performance.”

For all venue and performance details, please visit the Present Laughter performance web page.

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