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Noises Off

Soulpepper revives madcap British farce 

Presented by Soulpepper Theatre Company
Written by Michael Frayn
Directed by Ted Dykstra

Brenda Robins, Matthew Edison, Raquel Duffy, Christopher Morris. Photo by Bronwen Sharp.

Toronto audiences are in for a side-splitting treat this season with the first ever local production of Michael Frayn's Noises Off, now playing at the Young Centre. Directed by Ted Dykstra, Soulpepper's impeccably choreographed staging of this 1982 play-within-a-play is a guaranteed crowd pleaser featuring a talented ensemble and a terrific multi-level set by Patrick Clark.

The story follows a group of actors as they rehearse and perform a play called "Nothing On," a comedy set in the living room of a country house. The first act takes place the night before opening as the show's director Lloyd Dallas (David Storch) attempts to rein in the theatrics, both on stage and off

His misfit cast consists of a seasoned television star, Dotty Otley (Brenda Robins), who plays the housekeeper. She can't seem to remember her lines or where she left her plate of sardines. Then there's Garry Lejeune (Matthew Edison), who plays a rather spacey estate agent more interested in bedding his perspective client, played by the ditzy bombshell Brooke Ashton (Myrthin Stagg), than making a sale. The action picks up when the home owners, portrayed by Frederick Fellowes (Christopher Morris) and Belinda Blair (Raquel Duffy), return home to find strangers in their sheets. At the same time, a burglar, depicted by notorious drunk thespian Selsdon Mowbray (Oliver Dennis), breaks in and discovers he is far from alone.

While the ensemble struggles to pull it together in time for opening, long-suffering stage manager, Poppy Norton-Taylor (Oyin Oladejo), and fellow stage hand Tim Allgood (Anand Rajaram) become unwitting players in the drama.

In the second act, the set is flipped around and we witness the backstage chaos as a matinee performance goes horribly awry. Later, in the final act, the set changes back again and all of the night's misunderstandings come together in a hysterical finale.

Noises Off is a product of a less politically correct time, with as many off-colour jokes as there are props and doors. All of the characters are exaggerated stereotypes, and Frayn's script is self aware enough that modern audiences can't help but howl at the ridiculousness of it all. Soulpepper's production hits the mark with brilliant comedic timing and chemistry between performers as their egos, insecurities and desires collide in an epicly funny take on the mechanics of putting on a play. 

Don't miss this fun-filled show biz farce, on stage until October 22 at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts. Visit for more information and to buy tickets.

Show Dates: 
Fri, 2016-10-07 - Sat, 2016-10-22
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