Detailed Synopsis (spoiler alert)

Detailed Synopsis (spoiler alert)


The cast of a comic play, Nothing On, rehearses at a theatre in Weston-super-Mare, England, the night before the show is set to premiere. Lloyd Dallas directs Dotty Otley (playing the role of Mrs. Clackett, the housekeeper at an English estate); Gary Lejeune (Roger, an estate agent); Brooke Ashton (Vicki, a tax collector whom Roger is attempting to seduce); Frederick Fellowes (Philip Brent, the owner of the house, who claims to reside in Spain to avoid tax responsibilities); Belinda Blair (Flavia Brent, Philip’s wife); and elderly character actor Selsdon Mowbray (a burglar trying to rob the Brents’ house). Stage Manager Tim Allgood and Assistant Stage Manager Poppy Norton-Taylor (also the understudy for the female roles) are on-hand, as well. With opening night looming, the cast does not seem well prepared, repeatedly forgetting their lines and cues as they work through Nothing On’s first act. The relationships between some cast and crew members appear rather tense and awkward. Lloyd scrambles to wrangle the cast, as things do not seem to be coming together and Nothing On is set to premiere in just a matter of hours.


Around a month later, at a matinee performance of Nothing On in Ashton-under-Lyne, the view of the action is now from behind the set, where Tim and Poppy are stationed. The problems and tensions among cast and crew members—already suggested during their earlier rehearsal—have worsened: Lloyd has been romantically involved with both Brooke and Poppy, and the latter is pregnant with his child. Garry and Dotty have been dating, but their relationship is now on the skids. Selsdon has a serious drinking problem, and his castmates must constantly try to keep him sober enough to perform his small role. Belinda, while appearing saccharine-sweet, spreads gossip among, and about, her cast mates. These issues affect the performance in myriad, hilarious ways.


Later, at another performance in Stockton-on-Tees—viewed facing the stage this time—the dynamics among cast and crew have grown even more strained; in some cases, downright acrimonious. Where the Ashton-under-Lyne show was marred by miscues, prop failures, and other such mistakes, this performance—nearing the end of Nothing On’s tour run—is disastrous. Yet, despite the many mishaps and obviously fractured relationships, the company manages to get through the performance, concluding with a final botched line reading and the curtains coming detached and falling down on all the actors on stage.

Noises Off

By Michael Frayn
January 23–February 23, 2020
Noises Off, hailed as the funniest farce ever written, treats audiences to a hilarious peek at a second-tier acting troupe performing a show. With egos, insecurities, and tempers flaring backstage—and forgotten lines, missed cues, and misplaced sardines onstage—this cast threatens to strike the old adage “the show must go on.” Michael Frayn’s dizzying play-within-a-play classic is sure to leave you doubled over with laughter.
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Posted on 16th Jan 2020