Noises Off – Jack Williams
Noises Off is the story behind a disastrously unprepared, dim-witted and drug-and-sex-addicted group of actors and actresses throughout their preparation for and performances of the fictional play Nothing On. Being such an abhorrent play, and such a frustration for the director of Nothing On, the audience of Noises Off finds itself in one of the most hilarious farces to date, and surely Michael Frayn finds himself satisfied, rather than frustrated.
The play, although originally a 1982 London comedy, has returned to Broadway three times since, and featured Michael Caine along with Christopher Reeve and John Ritter in a 1992 hit movie directed by Peter Bogdanovich.
I personally enjoyed the Inception-like feel of watching a play within a play. On top of this, it was also very ironic that such a terrible farce could be the cornerstone of one of the best I have ever seen. I enjoyed how the acts were split, and thought that they reflected both time and anxiety typical to certain stages throughout the production and performance process of stageplays. The most hilarious part of the play, in my mind, was in Act III when they play tumbles so far downhill that the actors and actresses must start ad-libbing in order to present something, at all, to the audience – and it is an incredible performance of slapstick comedy.