Noises Off - Not your ordinary can of sardines.Noises Off
by Michael Frayn

June 15 - July 7, 2001
Directed by Rhonda Clark

This hilarious West-End and Broadway hit is a farce about a farce!

NOISES OFF recounts the misadventures of a third-rate British theater troupe as they tour a sex farce titled "Nothing On" through the hinterlands.

In theater parlance, "noises off" refers to offstage sound effects. In this case, the noises off are the backstage yelps and battle cries of the actors who are entangled in a sex farce of their own. Playwright Michael Frayn gives us three separate glimpses of the company and their cheesy comedy.

NOISES OFF - Act I set. In Act One, the cast and crew stumble through a catastrophic final rehearsal of the first act of "Nothing On" as the clock passes midnight. Hampered by wayward plates of sardines, broken doors, a lost contact lens and their general lack of talent, they lamely carry on for their caustic director.

The silly plot seems to involve a daffy maid in an English country house, where one couple plans an illicit affair, another couple hides from the tax collector, and a drunken burglar and an Arab sheik complicate the action. Of course, the requisite slamming doors and dropping trousers are in abundance. At intervals in the botched rehearsal, the audience gets a glimpse of the actors' own quirky personalities and company romances.

NOISES OFF - Jennifer Turner and Clyde Martin NOISES OFF - Heather Jernigan and Corey Whaley NOISES OFF - Terry Veal and Rebekah Peddy

Act Two of NOISES OFF takes the madness one step further. The audience once again watches Act One of "Nothing On," but from backstage. The entire set revolves 180 degrees, exposing prop tables and technical equipment. 

A month has passed on tour and tempers are flaring. Smitten lovers would now like to kill each other, but "the show must go on." The actors try to keep up appearances onstage for their matinee audience, but backstage it's a pantomime of choreographed chaos in the fine tradition of the Marx Brothers. A fire axe, a cactus plant, whiskey bottles and malicious practical jokes bring the company, literally, to their knees.

NOISES OFF - Rebekah Peddy and Terry Veal
Act Three is almost two months later, and we see Act One of "Nothing On" from the front again. By now the actors are in open warfare and the stage is their battlefield where they rewrite dialogue, sabotage fellow actors and destroy props. As the pandemonium increases, so do the laughs.

The idea for NOISES OFF occurred to Michael Frayn (who is well-known in England for his farces and satirical comedies) one night as he stood in the wings of a London theater watching a performance of a farce he had written for Lynn Redgrave. "It was funnier from behind than in front." He decided to write a farce that depicted the backstage exploits during a performance. 

Movie audiences may remember Peter Bogdanovich's film version of NOISES OFF, which starred Carol Burnett, Michael Caine, John Ritter, and Christopher Reeve and Americanized the locations and most of characters.



NOISES OFF - Jo Perryman as Dotty

Terry Veal as Frederick

NOISES OFF - Corey Whaley, Rebekah Peddy, Terry Veal, and Jo Perryman

Dotty Otley

  Jo Perryman
Lloyd Dallas   Jon Womastek
Garry Lejeune   Corey Whaley
Brooke Ashton   Heather Jernigan
Poppy Norton-Taylor   Jennifer Turner
Frederick Fellowes   Terry Veal
Belinda Blair   Rebekah Peddy
Tim Allgood   Chris Rodgers
Selsdon Mowbray   Clyde Martin


Director   Rhonda Clark
Set Design/Tech Director   Tom Harrington
Lighting Design   Steven Gillmore
Costume Design   Corey Martin
Stage Manager    Bob Bates
Asst. Stage Mgr & Control Booth   Dustin Mars
Running Crew   Lyn Bates
Tom Gibson
Genger Gibson
Jeremy Springer
Risa Wilkinson
Set Construction   Tom Harrington
Melody Harrington
Dustin Mars
Shane Schnetzler
Risa Wilkinson
Michael Payne
Bob Bates
Steven Gillmore
Rhonda Clark
Scenic Backdrop   Nick Backes


Mathis Brothers Furniture - Sadri Rugs - Classen School of Advanced Studies - Kent Fischer - Doug Wagner - Suzanne Charney - Doobie Potter - Janey Crain - Becky Clinton - Scott Meek

NOISES OFF - Jon Womastek and Chris Rodgers   NOISES OFF - Chris Rodgers and Jennifer Turner

Produced by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.

This project was made possible with the assistance of the Oklahoma Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. Carpenter Square Theatre is an Allied Arts Member Agency.    



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