Present Laughter

This production went out alongside tours of THE SEVEN YEAR ITCH [qv] and THE AMOROUS PRAWN [qv]. The production company, Portman Theatrical Productions, collapsed in the process, with debts of £146,000. (‘Cost of Jokel collapse’, The Stage 12th March 1987.)

The last three performances at Nottingham (Friday and Saturday, 25th-26th July) were cancelled owing to non-payment of the actors’ wages. (‘Actor’s pay row hits stage show’, Derby Evening Telegraph 26th July 1986, page 1.)

“Francis Matthews said he was ‘disgusted’ with the union [Equity] and would ‘trust them for nothing’ as the Portman Productions show ended last week. A week earlier, in Nottingham, Matthews and the rest of the cast voted not to perform two shows because they were not being paid. Special arrangements were made to pay their wages during the last week, in Richmond, but Matthews and the other members of the cast have finished the tour angry not only with the producer, Walter Jokel, but also with their own union.” – Jeremy Jehu, ‘Matthews’ disgust with Equity cash switch’, The Stage 7th August 1986, page 1

Cast & Crew


Daphne Stillington
Gary Essendine
Henry Lyppiatt
Joanna Lyppiatt
Liz Essendine
Miss Erikson
Monica Reed
Morris Dixon
Roland Maule


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