Noises Off to be beau­ti­ful chaos

Hamilton Press - - FRONT PAGE - KEL­LEY TANTAU

It’s a show that’s been de­scribed by the cast as a ‘‘dis­as­ter’’. What starts out bad, gets pre­dom­i­nantly worse.

But it’s a play-within-a-play you wouldn’t want to miss.

Hamil­ton Play­box will per­form Michael Frayn’s Noises Off this month, which takes a fond look at the fol­lies of the­atre folk.

Di­rected by Lawrie John­son, the show stars sea­soned Hamil­ton ac­tors in - iron­i­cally - prob­a­bly, their worst role to date.

‘‘There’s re­ally good bad act­ing in it and bad act­ing is hard,’’ cast mem­ber Steven Gray said.

Gray plays Lloyd Dal­las, a di­rec­tor who’s at the end of his tether.

‘‘He’s got no time. It’s 12 o’clock, they open the next night and the ac­tors can’t re­mem­ber their di­a­logue.

‘‘It takes you out of your­self. It’s laught-out-loud funny, and I think every­one needs that at the mo­ment,’’ he said.

Noises Off tells the story of a tour­ing the­atre troupe’s pro­duc­tion of Noth­ing On in three stages: dress re­hearsal, the open­ing per­for­mance, and a per­for­mance to­wards the end of a de­bil­i­tat­ing run.

Conor Maxwell plays Freddy, and he and co-star Kelly Petersen spend the ma­jor­ity of their time on stage in their un­der­wear. He said it was fun to play a char­ac­ter at­tempt­ing to play a char­ac­ter.

‘‘My char­ac­ter is a hus­band and he’s wor­ried about taxes and the ac­tual char­ac­ter I play is an id­iot who gets nose­bleeds a lot and doesn’t un­der­stand any­thing.

‘‘My main prop is a hand­ker­chief and my most com­mon line is ‘I’m sorry’,’’ he said.

‘‘The whole play is just things go­ing wrong, so it’s re­ally funny when things ac­ci­den­tally go right or they go more wrong.’’

The cast de­scribe Noises Off as a farce, and agree that Act Three is - put sim­ply - chaos, but that it is beau­ti­ful to watch.

‘‘I re­ally like the ca­ma­raderie that you’re forced to have for one an­other in farce. You need to know that every­one else is go­ing to do the right thing at the right time oth­er­wise the whole thing will just col­lapse,’’ Nick Wilkin­son, who plays Gary, said.

Thirty years ago, Adam White played the old man in the same play. Now he’s been as a youth called Tim. He hopes Noises Off will leave peo­ple with a stom­ach ache and sore cheeks.

Noises Off, run­ning from Fri­day, Septem­ber 22 - Satur­day, Oc­to­ber 7 at the River­lea The­atre. Tick­ets: www.iticket.co.nz

The cast of Noises Off: Adam White, Steven Gray, Nick Wilkin­son, Conor Maxwell and Kelly Petersen.

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