by Michael Frayn
The play that paved the way for The Play That Goes Wrong. This classic is a farce about the mounting of a play called ‘Nothing On’, a 1980s sex comedy, in a theatre in seaside town Weston-super-Mare (Somerset, England).
Act One takes place on stage, during a technical rehearsal. Act Two of Noises Off is Act One (again) of ‘Nothing On’, seen from backstage. Act Three again repeats Act One, but from much later in the tour of the show, showing how the actors’ relationships have evolved / disintegrated.
The set is challenging, as it requires a staircase and a large number of doorways, plus the challenge of rotating the whole set to reveal backstage.
Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith (Previews 11th Feb 1982, opened 23 February 1982, closed 27 March 1982)
Directed by Michael Blakemore, starring Paul Eddington, Patricia Routledge and Michael Aldridge.
Savoy Theatre, London (30 March 1982 – 1 November 1986)
Brooks Atkinson Theatre, Broadway (11 December 1983. Ran for 553 performances)
National Theatre, London – Lyttleton Theatre (Previews 29 September 2000, Opened 5 October 2000 – May 2001?)
Piccadilly Theatre, London (14 May 2001)
Brooks Atkinson Theatre, Broadway (1 November 2001)
The Old Vic, London (3 December 2011 – 10 March 2012) transferred to the Novello Theatre
Novello Theatre, London (24 March – 30 June 2012) followed by UK tour
American Airlines Theatre, Broadway (Previews 17 December 2015, opened 14 January 2016 – March 13 2016)
Phoenix Theatre London (January 19 2023 – March 11 2023)
Broadway – American Airlines Theatre production
In 1992, the play was made into a motion picture, directed by