Ballarat National Theatre

Noises Off header



29 Nov. & 3, 4, 5, 6, 11, 12 Dec. @ 8 pm
Matinees 30 Nov. & 13 Dec. @ 2 pm


Hailed as one of the most hilarious comedies with a backstage setting, and certainly one of BNT’s great past successes we are delighted to be reviving this play which we first presented at the Courthouse Theatre exactly 20 years ago.

The characters of ‘Noises Off’ are members of a touring theatre company who are presenting a typical farce ‘Nothing On’. We join them during the final dress rehearsal when things aren’t going too well. Then a few weeks later when relationships are getting a bit frayed and practical jokes are taking place backstage. Finally we observe the final night of the tour when mayhem takes over.

Anyone who saw the play the first time round will know that it is a frantic rush from start to finish in what, we hope, is not too typical of normal backstage style. The set is more complicated than our norm and we are delighted that the Workshop Wizards of BLOC, Jim Muller and Lyle Quick agreed to build the set for us.


Directed by Lloyd Dallas
Setting realised by Jim Muller & Lyle Quick



Dotty Otley - VICKI ROWE
Garry Lejeune - STEWART GREEDY
Brooke Ashton - CARMEN MORRIS
Poppy Norton-Taylor - JANETTE BAXTER
Frederick Fellowes - ROBERT THURMAN
Belinda Blair - JILL DUNNE
Tim Allgood - CHRIS PEDLER
Selsdon Mowbray - CHRIS BAULCH


Stage-Manager - Liam Mudge
Crew - Lincoln Hunt
Lighting Design - Liam Mudge
with Marshal Woolfrey & Robert Selway-Hoskins .
Sound recording - Michael Zala,
Special Costume - Lynn Muller



NOISES OFF is a wonderful opportunity to watch seven slamming doors, one window breaking, several times, 10 or more trips up and down stairs and 17 false entrances, while listening to fumbled lines, 46 miscues, 22 double entendres, six regular entendres and a million laughs all while trying to find a missing plate of sardines.

The story of Noises Off, if you can call it a story, depicts the onstage and backstage antics of a fifth-grade troupe touring in an awful sex farce titled Nothing On.

The first act opens up on the dress rehearsal when things don't seem to be going too well.
The second act we hear the first act of Nothing On from backstage after it has been running a month, tempers are now getting a little frayed and relationships among the cast lead to offstage shenanigans and onstage bedlam. Third act takes us back to the first act after two months of touring and by this time actors are in open warfare and the stage is a battlefield.

As the pandemonium in¬creases, so do the laughs. It is deliciously so, a disaster. Julian Oldfield clearly is one of those directors with a gift to imagine the whole play in his head as he puts the actors through their paces. Though there appears to be chaos onstage, it is, in fact, tightly scripted chaos, and it all goes off without a hitch — I think. Truth told, you wouldn't know if there was a mistake anyway, a tribute to a fine cast.

Julian has once again de¬signed a fabulous set with the help of Jim Muller and Lyle Quick and really keeps the actors on their toes. There are some wonderful performances headed by Stewart Greedy as Garry Lejeune, Vicki Rowe as the housekeeper who is forever looking for her lost sardines, Jill Dunne who in the end voices everyone's frustrations.

Carmen Morris, Janette Baxter, Robert Thurman, Chris Baulch, Chris Pedler and, of course, Julian Oldfield who plays the director, all give con¬vincing performances.

If you are feeling low, get along to see this funny play and have a laugh.

To Ballarat National Theatre and cast of Noises Off, your reward for all your efforts should be the support of the Ballarat audiences and their applause. This is another great production.




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