The cast and director of Dorchester Drama’s latest production – Noël Coward’s delightful comedy, ‘Present Laughter’ – are now well into the rehearsal process.

However whilst the cast might be taking to the clipped accents and glamorous costumes of 1939 like ducks to water, sourcing some of the props appropriate to the period is proving rather more challenging.  A working soda syphon is at the top of the ‘wanted’ list according to the director, Anne Brown.  Can you help us?  If there’s a vintage syphon sat on your sideboard, we’d be very grateful if we could borrow it for the production, and you’d get a mention in the programme.

 It has been a while since the group has put on this kind of play and the actors are enjoying the challenge of taking on the style, sophistication, repartee and costumes of the 1930s. It’s proving to be a real treat to play Coward’s amazing assortment of siren-like seductresses, over-inflated egos, uppity servants and the madly unconventional.

It is probably his most autobiographical play and the character of Garry Essendine would seem to be a thinly-veiled portrait of Coward himself. Martin Stephen, who is playing the part in this production, is revelling in getting into the role. “The lines are a joy to learn and to deliver, they’re so witty and dry – with vicious barbs underlying the light humour on the surface.”

Performances are at the Corn Exchange on 15th, 16th and 17th November at 7.30pm with a matinee on 17th November at 2.30pm.

Tickets are £10 and £7 for under 18s.  Available from the Tourist Information Office, Dorchester Library, or the Box Office on 01305 268692, and electronically from a link at

And if you have the elusive soda syphon just sitting around, please give us a call on the Box Office number – we’d be delighted to hear from you.


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