Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Noises Off

The final year students of NIDA, Australia's National Institute of Dramatic Art, are staging three plays over the next few weeks as part of their final year activities giving themselves an opportunity to showcase their talents to agents, the industry, their relatives and friends and theatre goers in general. These performances give us the chance to see possible stars of the future in professional works at very inexpensive prices.

The last time I attended one of these performances was several years ago on Mk's urging because the male members of the cast disrobed at some stage. Not the best motivation for me to attend a play and I paid it for later. I blogged about that performance and how attractive several of the cast were naked on stage. The posting received a swift comment from the play's Stage Manager who evidently was trawling the Internet for any comments about the production. He suggested I should focus on the performance's qualities not the nakedness of the cast. In fact my posting had also commented quite favourably on the performance and the performers but I was suitably chastised and hopefully I have not repeated that example in poor taste blogging.

'Noises Off' is a farce and several of the cast do undress to their underwear but nobody appears naked. A theatre company is rehearsing a play which they are performing around the country, mainly in regional areas. The rehearsal is not going well with actors fluffing their lines, questioning the motivation of their characters and generally descending into disruptive behaviour one way and another.

The farce is in thee acts but in this production Acts 2 and 3 have been combined. The play portrayed in the farce is presented once in each of the acts; as a rehearsal in Act 1, then as heard from backstage in Act 2 and finally as the play itself disintegrating into chaos in Act 3.

The students are made to work very hard in this production. Timing is all important and I felt occasionally the students were uneven in their timing but overall their performance tonight was pretty good. Act 2 is mostly performed in mime and I had difficulty following the actions at times during this scene. I think more focused lighting would have assisted my understanding of this section.

Perhaps 'Noises Off' is a bit of an old fashioned clunker but it remains very funny. Cs and I both enjoyed the performance immensely.


  1. 'but I was suitably chastised and hopefully I have not repeated that example in poor taste blogging.'

    Really!!! I actually remember that post, because you mentioned the on stage nudity. I can find umpteen serious crits of stage performances on the net. I value the personal opinion of a gay man who is my age, and I would be interested in the on stage nudity, in an artistic manner of course. All bloggers have to self censor, but I hope I don't to the point where people stop reading who might have initially been attracted to blog by my possible plain speaking and honesty.

    Or perhaps what you wrote was tongue in cheek.

  2. Andrew - I think I did go a step too far in my admiration of one cast member's nakedness in that post; otherwise I think my post was quite reasonable.

    Thanks for your thoughts.

  3. Thanks for the heads up. I went on Friday and enjoyed it.