//Noises Off – Asolo: Rave Reviews

Noises Off – Asolo: Rave Reviews


Noises Off

By MICHAEL FRAYN | Directed by DON STEPHENSON

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About The Show

“If laughter is the best medicine, this flawless show is capable of curing double pneumonia.” β€”The Wall Street Journal

Noises Off is a 1982 play by the English playwright Michael Frayn. The idea for it came in 1970, when Frayn was watching from the wings a performance of The Two of Us, a farce that he had written for Lynn Redgrave. He said, “It was funnier from behind than in front, and I thought that one day I must write a farce from behind.”[1] The prototype, a short-lived one-act play called Exits, was written and performed in 1977. At the request of his associate, Michael Codron, Frayn expanded this into what would become Noises Off. It takes its title from the theatrical stage direction indicating sounds coming from offstage.

Each of the three acts of Noises Off contains a performance of the first act of a play within a play, a sex farce called Nothing On. The three acts of Noises Off are each named “Act One” on the contents page of the script, though they are labelled normally in the body of the script; and the programme for Noises Off will include, provided by the author, a comprehensive programme for the Weston-super-Mare run of Nothing On, including spoof advertisements (for sardines) and acknowledgments to the providers of mysterious props that do not actually appear (e.g. stethoscope, hospital trolley, and straitjacket). Nothing is seen of the rest of Nothing On.

Precision timed, cunningly constructed, rip-roaringly hilarious – Noises Off is a comedy of epic proportions – and the laugh-until-you-cry guilty pleasure of audiences for decades. With opening night just hours away, a motley company of actors stumbles through a frantic, final rehearsal of the British sex farce Nothing On, and things could not be going worse. Lines are forgotten, love triangles are unraveling, sardines are flying everywhere, and complete pandemonium ensues. Will the cast pull their act together on stage even if they can’t behind the scenes? Brace yourself for a world class production of this incomparable comedy and relish every delicious moment of the show that The New York Times exclaims, “voyages to the outer limits of hilarity!”