Noises Off

by  Michael Frayn

Full Length Play, Comedy  /  5m, 4f

Called “the funniest farce ever written,” Noises Off presents a manic menagerie of itinerant actors rehearsing a flop called Nothing’s On. Doors slamming, on and offstage intrigue, and an errant herring all figure in the plot of this hilarious and classically comic play.

Read more +
License Estimator

Use this tool for cost estimates based on your specific needs.

  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    5m, 4f
  • Duration

    Duration

    More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Farce
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    Olivier, From Broadway, From West End
  • Suggested Use

    Suggested Use

    • Cutting Approved for Competition
    • UIL Approved
    • Competition or audition material
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult
    • Senior
    • Teen (Age 14 - 18)

Additional Info

"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." - The New York Times

Read more +

Accolades

  • Winner! 1982 Olivier Award, Best Play
    Winner! 1982 London Evening Standard Award, Best Comedy
    Nominee! 1984 Tony® Award, Best Play
    Nominee! 1984 Drama Desk Award, Best Play

Reviews

"As side-splitting a farce as I have seen. Ever? Ever." - New York Magazine

REVIEWS

"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." - The New York Times

"Bumper car brilliance [...] If laughter is indeed the best medicine, Noises Off is worth its weight in Cipro." New York Daily News

"The funniest farce ever written! Never before has side-splitting taken on a meaning dangerously close to the non-metaphorically medical." - New York Post

"As side-splitting a farce as I have seen. Ever? Ever." - New York Magazine

Videos

  • Noises Off - Old Vic Trailer
  • Noises Off - Roundabout Theatre montage
  • Roundabout Theatre cast discusses Noises Off
More videos +

Keywords

Betrayal, Friendship, Love

Considerations

Performing Groups

  • High School/Secondary
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Large Stage

Cautions

  • Caution Mild Adult Mild Adult Themes

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $100 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: Contemporary
  • Duration: More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Setting: The set of the living room of the Brent's country home in the play Nothing's On, and the backstage area. Wednesday afternoon. (Three different theaters between January and April.)
  • Additional Features: Physical Comedy, Stage Combat
  • Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes

Music

  • Musical Style: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Vocal Demands: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Chorus Size: N/A (Not a musical)

Casting

5m, 4f
DOTTY OTLEY - A late-middle-aged actress. Plays Mrs. Clackett, the housekeeper for the Brents' home in England in Nothing's On.
LLOYD DALLAS - The director of a play-within-the-play, called Nothing's On.
GARRY LEJEUNE -  A stuttering actor, easily fired up. Plays Roger, the estate agent looking to let the Brent's house in Nothing's On.
BROOKE ASHTON - A young inexperienced actress from London. Plays Vicki, who works for the tax authorities and is trying to woo Roger in Nothing's On. 
POPPY NORTON-TAYLOR - Assistant Stage Manager.
FREDERICK FELLOWES - Has a serious fear of violence and blood. Plays Phillip Brent, who lives out of the country with his wife Flavia to avoid paying taxes and is on a secret visit in Nothing's On.
BELINDA BLAIR - Cheerful and sensible, a reliable actress. Plays Flavia, Philip Brent's wife, who is dependable, though not one for household duties in Nothing's On.
TIM ALLGOOD - An over-worked Stage Manager.
SELSDON MOWBRAY - Elderly and with actorly mannerisms. Plays Selsdon, a burglar and an old man in his seventies, breaking into the Brents' house in Nothing's On.
See all +

Cast Attributes

  • Ensemble cast

More

Authors

Michael Frayn

Michael Frayn was born in London in 1933. He began his career as a reporter for the Guardian and later the Observer. After leaving the Observer he continued to write as a columnist as well as publishing novels and plays for television and stage. His plays for stage include: Copenhagen, After Life, The Two of Us, Alph ...

View full profile

Noises Off opened at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre in New York City on December 11, 1983, under the direction of Michael Blakemore.

Now Playing

Community Experiences