Many people say that life is a stage and we are the actors. For “Noises Off” by Michael Frayn, this idea is exactly the case. “Noises Off” is a hilarious British farce filled with complete chaos and enough hilarity to get you rolling in your seat even before the first scene is over. It begins as if the show presented to the audience is the actual play they paid to see; in reality it is “a show within a show.” In the beginning of the play, the audience hears a director, also in the audience, screaming out cues and directions for the actors. At this point the comedy truly sets in, because the audience realizes exactly what they are watching.
The actors on this stage displayed some of the most intricate and mind-blowing talent I have ever seen. Not only do these characters have to memorize lines for the “real audience,” but they have to memorize lines for the play they are rehearsing for in the show as well. Even though it may be a bit confusing, a complex plot is no problem for the Drexel Players. The whole show comes together with the natural humor and talent of an amazing cast.
Suited up as the stuffy, upscale director, Lloyd Dallas, played by James Haro, tries to bring some order to a dying show. Off the set he shows his true colors as a notorious ladies man, stealing the love of female leads Poppy Norton-Taylor the stage manager, played by Kathleen Lynch, and Brooke/Vicki the seductive temptress, played by Laura Calderone. Also within this sterling cast is the hilarious front man Garry/Roger played by John Turnbach; the adorable, cocky linguist Dotty/Mrs. Clackett played by Bianca Vasaturo; the fantastic team of Freddy/Phillip played by Will Post; and Belinda/Flavia played by Emily Kleimo. And, of course, how could we forget the one and only Selsdon, played by Michael Long? He brings the audience to tears as a drunken vagabond placed into a show obviously not made for his “style” of acting. Last but not least the stagehand and replacement Freddy/Tim Allgood was played by John VanZelst. This show would have been nothing without these brilliant actors.
The play consisted of three different acts. The first act, as stated before, starts out with the players rehearsing for their opening night performance. The director continuously stops the play to fix mistakes. That all takes place before the entire set revolves, revealing the life outside of the play and showing the characters as they really are. The audience is surprised with a chaotic mess of love, anger, axes, cactuses and an infamous bottle of whisky hidden everywhere through out the show. Just when the audience believes the craziness has ended, they soon realize it has only just begun. The next act erupts into an insane display of a play going from bad to worse. This not only brings smiles to every face in the audience but brings tears of laughter to every eye in the house.
“Noises off” is a fantastic comedic experience. The direction and production behind it only bring more shine to their wonderful cast and clever plot line. If you are ready for a night filled with laughter, chaos and sardines, then this is the show you have been waiting for.
“Noises Off” is playing at the Mandell Theatre this weekend with shows at 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $15 for the general public and $5 for students, professional staff and faculty with Drexel ID. For more information, visit www.drexelplayers.com or follow @MandellTheater on Twitter.