Theatre in Wales

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TWO PLAYS FOR THE PRICE OF ONE (in the play within a play sense     

TWO PLAYS FOR THE PRICE OF ONE (in the play within a play sense Hailed as the greatest comedy ever seen in the West End or on Broadway, Michael Frayn’s Noises Off visits Cardiff fresh from rave reviews after its opening night. Winner of both Olivier and Tony Awards for best comedy, this glorious comic romp offers two plays for the price of one as the play within a play unravels. At the New Theatre from Tuesday 21 October, Noises Off stars Colin Baker, Jonathan Coy, Ben Hull and Maggie Steed.
Noises Off is a brilliantly witty and frantic play about the antics of an inept second-rate touring theatre company. Whilst the traditional British farce Nothing On is being performed, a real life farce unfolds backstage during the show’s final rehearsal and the ensuing disastrous tour.

Act One, set the night before opening, sees the cast still fumbling with entrances and exits, missed cues, bothersome props, and several plates of sardines! In Act Two, at a matinee performance a month into the tour, the play is seen from the backstage perspective providing a revealing insight into the deteriorating relationships amongst the cast that have led to offstage shenanigans and onstage bedlam. Finally, in Act Three the cast are nearing the end of the tour and friction between them has reached boiling point. Bored with the play and anxious to see the back of it the actors attempt to cover up a series of mishaps, only to worsen the problems and highlight, even further, the catastrophic performance.

With much of the comedy emerging from observing the way in which the chaos offstage affects the performance onstage, Noises Off guarantees an evening of unashamed, laugh-out-loud escapism and one of the funniest nights to be spent at the theatre, about the theatre!

Leading the all-star cast is Doctor Who star Colin Baker. Colin, a favourite with Cardiff audiences was last at the New Theatre in Bedroom Farce. Joining him are Jonathan Coy (Donkeys’ Years, The Life and Times of Nicholas Nickleby), Ben Hull (Hollyoaks, Brookside, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof) and Maggie Steed who starred in the stage production of The History Boys, The Heiress and Jam and Jerusalem.

Written in 1982 by multi-award winning playwright Michael Frayn (Donkeys’ Years, Copenhagen, Democracy), the idea for Noises Off was born in 1970 when Frayn was standing in the wings watching a performance of Chinamen, a farce written for Lynn Redgrave. Frayn apparently thought it was funnier from behind the scenes than in front and came up with the idea to write a farce from backstage.

Noises Off is at the New Theatre, Cardiff from Tuesday 21 – Saturday 25 October. Tickets range from £7.50 - £26 and can booked via the Box Office on 029 2087 8889 or online* at

*online sales carry a small transaction charge

Noises Off
New Theatre, Cardiff
Tuesday 21 - Saturday 25 October
Evenings 7.30pm; Thursday & Saturday Matinees 2.30pm
Tickets: £7.50 - £26
Box Office: 029 2087 8889
Book Online:
web site

Saturday, September 27, 2008back



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