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"Noises Off" Deserves Re-Frayn

By SHERRI RASE New York's Performances & Arts Reviews

The phone rings in an English Country-style home that the audience has had ample chance to enjoy as the lights come up on "Noises Off." Mrs. Clackett walks across the room, speaking to the phone before she even picks up the receiver and the game has begun. But what, indeed is the game?

Michael Frayn was inspired to write his Olivier-award winning play "Noises Off" while watching one of his own works from backstage. Once he saw the drama behind the scenes, it was too funny for him to not commit his thoughts to the play that began life as "Exits" in 1982.
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Watch the Actress Playing the Actress Playing the Maid

The New York Times

The fictional actress Dotty Otley is a very important woman. She may be playing a generally thankless role, the maid, in a dreadful British farce called “Nothing On.” That’s the play within a play in Michael Frayn’s hilarious “Noises Off.” But without Dotty, and without a real-life actress playing her to the hilt, “Noises Off” couldn’t rise to the heights.
Luckily for the Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey’s joyous new production, Harriet Harris plays the dowdy Dotty with major flair.
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‘Noises Off‘ a delightful disaster
Shakespeare Theatre precisely executes this celebrated comedy

The Daily Record

It's not easy being bad. But the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, which often makes good work look easy, is up to the task.

Stepping slightly out of its comfort zone, New Jersey's premier classic theater is tapping the Reagan-Thatcher era for "Noises Off," English playwright Michael Frayn's 1982 farce about a doomed theatrical production.
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‘Noises Off:’ British farce at its best

Recorder Community Newspapers

Paul Mullins’ production of the British farce “Noises Off,” now at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, 36 Madison Avenue in Madison, lends strong support to the claim that this is the funniest play of the 20th century. The laughter starts immediately and builds steadily as a third-rate troupe of actors rehearse and then perform a dreadful sex-farce entitled “Nothing On.”
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Noises Off


Mid-summer madness prevails at the Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey with a revival of Michael Frayn's giddy 1982 farce "Noises Off," which remains one of the funniest plays of the past half-century. The play-within-a-play concerns the chaotic rehearsals of a feuding troupe of traveling performers; director Paul Mullins has harnessed his clownish players into a three-act comedy that's as knee-slapping as a three-ring circus. Read full review here.

Noises Off


Michael Frayn's Noises Off is one of the funniest backstage comedies ever -- a work so seamlessly written and perfectly timed that amateur companies often do it well. So it's hardly surprising that the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey's professional production, directed with style and confidence by Paul Mullins and headlined by Tony Award winner Harriet Harris, offers laugh after laugh, to the point where one's stomach begins to cramp. Read full review here.