Noises Off!



Download Full Text (1.4 MB)


Setting the Scene

Noises Off! was written by Michael Frayn and first performed in the Lyric Theatre in London in 1982. The show came to America in December 1983, debuting at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre in New York City. Noises Off! is a story about a theatre company attempting to put on a performance of "Nothing On" while juggling sardines, dealing with falling pants, multiple prop mishaps and even more sardines. The play follows the actors trying to keep things together not only on-stage, but also in their personal lives. It is performed as a play within a play and shows characters on-stage and well as behind the scenes. There is always something happening and there is never a dull moment as the characters try to make it through their performances all while not trying to destroy each other.

All action takes place in England during the 1980s

Act One: Last rehearsal before opening night in the Grand Theatre

Act Two: A matinee performance at the Theatre Royal a month after opening night

Act Three: A show near the end of the ten week run at the Municipal Theatre

Publication Date







The Masque


Theatre and Performance Studies


Producer's Corner

Welcome to the Masque's production of Noises Off!, as a part of our 81st season! Mounting Noises Off! is never an easy task; our offering is no exception, as not one production element is left unchallenged, from the designers and the actors to the sardine lubricator. Aside from the technical elements, I hope this slapstick comedy within a comedy leaves everyone with a good laugh.

Called the funniest farce ever written, Noises Off! features a hilarious cast of itinerant actors rehearsing a dreadful British adult comedy called NOTHING ON. As we follow the production from final rehearsals, through opening night, and on tour, we find that what's happening onstage is nothing compared to what's happening backstage! With the guidance of the hot-headed director Lloyd, overworked stage hand and actor Gary and nervous stage manager Poppy be enough to save them? You will have to wait and see.

Once again, we are excited to welcome the guidance of Mr. Tom Reing as director. Tom has been with the Masque for over a decade and is still a huge asset to every production.

Much gratitude and thanks go out to all the departments on campus that played a part in making this production possible: Administrative Services, University Advancement, University Communications, The Dean of Students Office, Physical Facilities, The Programming Center and Multimedia Services. The Executive Board would especially like to thank our faculty advisor Dawn Wanner for the strong pride she has in her students and her dedication to helping us make each show run smoothly. As my last show with the organization I would like to thank the membership and all of the board members who have helped to ensure that the quality of productions has stayed consistently strong through my four years here and I know that you will only continue to do great things!Thank you all for your attendance today and I hope you enjoy the performance!

Carolyn Holl
Producer and President

Director's Corner

Michael Frayn decided to write Noises Off! when he was watching a rehearsal and thought the offstage drama was more interesting than what was on stage. After rehearsing this play, I feel Michael Frayn didn't go far enough. It's much worse. This rehearsal process was the most grueling experience and I've decided to leave the theatre entirely. Look for my seashell painting kiosk at the Foreman Mills parking lot sometime soon.

Tom Reing

Rights Statement


Noises Off!