Take the Chance to Laugh Longest at the Tabard

Susan Stanley-Carroll highly recommends current production

David Tarkenter and Matt Wake in the Last Laugh
David Tarkenter and Matt Wake in the Last Laugh. Picture: Andreas Grieger

The ‘Last Laugh’, an adapted play by Richard Harris and on at the Chiswick Tabard, is a wonderfully witty and intelligent production that brought wave after wave of laughter on its opening night last Wednesday.

The production, about a determined young writer negotiating the approval of his comic script with an obstinate, cynical censor, is based on an original Japanese play by Kōki Mitani that dates back to 1996.

It is a superb drama as it explores the essence of comedy, censorship, and unfurls the relationship between two very opposed characters.

David Tarkenter, a seriously experienced actor, plays the role of the Censor, with intensity and brilliance. His timing is exemplary. And he is balanced perfectly with Matt Wake’s skilfully nuanced performance, as the confused young writer.

Quite astonishingly the two actors, one exceptionally experienced and the other recently out of drama school, parry and joust words with each other to create at times deeply poignant moments and also deliver pungent puns that develop into peals of laughter that, at times, appeared to make the very roof of the Tabard tremble.

The crisp set designed by Hardy Gru seemed to enlarge the overall size of the Tabard’s small stage and Nat Green’s lighting supported the changing atmosphere in the script.

Nick Bromley’s deft direction is, as always, immaculate.

Emphatically a Tabard production not to be missed. Fingers crossed it will go on tour and move to the West End (Why not? Think of the success of ‘Stones in the Pocket’!). It really is a show to be enjoyed not only by a West London audience but also by a West End theatre goers.

Susan Stanley-Carroll

Tickets are £23.50 or £19.50 for concessions.

You can book online on the Tabard Theatre web site or call the box office on 020 8995 6035.

Theatre at the Tabard is at 2 Bath Road, Chiswick (W4 1LW).


Like Reading Articles Like This? Help Us Produce More

This site remains committed to providing local community news and public interest journalism.

Articles such as the one above are integral to what we do. We aim to feature as much as possible on local societies, charities based in the area, fundraising efforts by residents, community-based initiatives and even helping people find missing pets.

We’ve always done that and won’t be changing, in fact we’d like to do more.

However, the readership that these stories generates is often below that needed to cover the cost of producing them. Our financial resources are limited and the local media environment is intensely competitive so there is a constraint on what we can do.

We are therefore asking our readers to consider offering financial support to these efforts. Any money given will help support community and public interest news and the expansion of our coverage in this area.

A suggested monthly payment is £8 but we would be grateful for any amount for instance if you think this site offers the equivalent value of a subscription to a daily printed newspaper you may wish to consider £20 per month. If neither of these amounts is suitable for you then contact info@neighbournet.com and we can set up an alternative. All payments are made through a secure web site.

One-off donations are also appreciated. Choose The Amount You Wish To Contribute.

If you do support us in this way we’d be interested to hear what kind of articles you would like to see more of on the site – send your suggestions to the editor.

For businesses we offer the chance to be a corporate sponsor of community content on the site. For £30 plus VAT per month you will be the designated sponsor of at least one article a month with your logo appearing if supplied. If there is a specific community group or initiative you’d like to support we can make sure your sponsorship is featured on related content for a one off payment of £50 plus VAT. All payments are made through a secure web site.


November 20, 2022