Theater fans everywhere have been rolling with laughter since “Noises Off” debuted in London almost 40 years ago. It quickly moved across the Atlantic to become a huge hit on Broadway, earning multiple Tony award nominations and a Drama Desk Award for Best Ensemble cast. The New York Times raved, "The most dexterously realized comedy ever about putting on a comedy. A spectacularly funny, peerless backstage farce. This dizzy, well-known romp is festival of delirium." It was subsequently made into a film in 1992 with an all-star cast including Carol Burnett, Michael Caine, Christopher Reeve, John Ritter, Marilu Henner, Nicollete Sheridan, Julie Hagerty, and Mark Linn-Baker.
The title, “Noises Off,” refers to the stage direction meaning sounds that come from offstage. The idea for the play came to the playwright, Michael Frayn, in 1970 as he was watching a performance of a farce he’d written for Lynn Redgrave from backstage. He said, “It was funnier from behind than in front, and I thought that one day I must write a farce from behind.” The play is about a theatre company’s production of the play-within-a-play, “Nothing On” – itself a farce with lots of entrances and exits and zany plot twists. The production is “challenged,” to say the least, and it’s driving the director nuts. Over the course of several weeks, props disappear, the set breaks down, and so do the relationships between the actors. In the end, despite nothing being as it should, the show DOES go on. Sort of…
Director Timothy Cole has cast several Town & Gown veterans, including Shay Lower as Dotty Otley, Russ Hopper as Selsdon Mowbray, Renae Perry as Belinda Blair, Valerie Thrasher as Poppy Norton-Taylor, Bunny Stanphill as Tim Allgood, Courtney Pilkington as Brooke Ashton, and Ben Allen as Garry LaJeune. More recent Town & Gown contributors in the cast include Chuck Lester as Lloyd Dallas and Jake Arington as Frederick Fellowes.
“Noises Off” is recommended for mature audiences and will be available to stream online from April 8th to April 11th. Tickets will go on sale at $15 each starting Thursday, March 25th via www.townandgown.org or directly at https://www.showtix4u.com/event-details/49356.