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Noises Off

Noises Off: Play by Michael Frayn. Dubbed “the funniest farce ever written,” Noises Off presents the audience with all of the backstage drama and chaos Taking place in the wings backstage, Michael Frayn’s comedy focuses on a dysfunctional cast and crew attempting to produce a poorly-written flop called Nothing On. The ensemble tries their hardest to put on the play-within-the-play while navigating a set that is in disrepair, slamming doors, and the cast suppressing their own urges to strangle each other.

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Rental Costumes for Noises Off 

            What do you get when you request a FREE costume plot from The Costumer?  We will send you the listing and costume description for the entire show, organized by act and scene for your convenience. The Costumer is proud to provide quality Adult and Children’s rental costumes for productions of Noises Off! Group costume rentals for Noises Off cover the entire cast over all three acts, including characters like Dotty Otley, Belinda Blair, Lloyd Dallas, Tim Allgood, and much more!


            Noises Off is a zany comedy that follows the antics and fraught relationships of actors offstage during a live performance of a dreadful farce. English playwright Michael Frayn was inspired to write the comedy after watching from the wings a performance of The Two of Us, a farcical comedy he had specifically written for Lynn Redgrave. Commenting on the interactions between actors backstage, Frayn said, “It was funnier from behind than in front, and I thought that one day I must write a farce from behind.” Frayn wrote a prototype one-act play called Exits that was later expanded and retitled as Noises Off. The play premiered in London in 1982 and began its first run on Broadway in December of 1983. Noises Off went on to be nominated for four Tony Awards in 1984, including Best Play and Best Direction of a Play, and received a film adaptation by the same title in 1992 starring Carol Burnett, Michael Caine, and Christopher Reeve.


            From the very beginning of Noises Off, hilarity ensues. Act One follows the dysfunctional cast during their final dress rehearsal at the fictional Grand Theatre in Weston-Super-Mare for the regional tour of the poorly written new British farce, Nothing On. It is midnight, tensions are high among all involved, and the cast is hopelessly ill-prepared and unready to open. Lloyd Dallas, the director, tries hard to not lose his temper with his disaster of an ensemble, but his patience begins to wane, and he resorts more and more to biting sarcasm. Dotty Otley, a middle-aged television star who is not only the play’s leading lady but also one of the production’s principal investors, has conveniently forgotten all of her lines and blocking. The experienced yet alcoholic and half-deaf geriatric actor, Selsdon Mowbray, keeps disappearing, leading stagehands to try and find him before he gets his hands on anything alcoholic. Frederick “Freddie” Fellowes’ wife has also just left him, Brooke Ashton can’t keep track of her contact lenses, and to complicate matters further, Lloyd is having an affair with Brooke and the inexperienced assistant stage manager, Poppy. Stage manager, Tim Allgood, hardly embodies his surname, for he is overworked and overwhelmed as he must understudy, fix the faulty set, and run errands for Lloyd on top of all his typical stage manager duties. All the while, actress Belinda Blair attempts to keep the peace among the company, even if she can be somewhat of a two-faced gossip hound. Matters only escalate further as rehearsal continues, and more revelations and dilemmas come to light. Tears are shed, fights break out, lunches are lost, and noses bleed before the run-through is complete; of Act I that is.


            As the curtains go up on this show about a show, The Costumer will ensure that your audience is fully immersed in the world of this crazy cast and crew! Rental costumes for Noises Off help capture the character of each member of this dysfunctional cast. Lloyd Dallas will appear to the audience as your typical theatre director who perhaps takes himself a little too seriously with a tweed sport coat, button-down shirt, a fashionable matching vest and pants, and a stylish ascot to tie the look together. Poppy Norton, the well put together yet inexperienced assistant stage manager, will be clothed in a conservative dress and sweater. The cast of the fictitious farce, Nothing On, will appear to the audience as a company in the middle of a dress rehearsal. Freddie and Belinda will resemble their characters, Philip and Flavia Brent, an upper-class couple that live out in the countryside. As Philip Brent, Freddie will be clad in a sharp tailored blazer, a light-colored pair of pants, and a handsome matching button-down shirt and tie to match. As Flavia Brent, Belinda will be dressed in a tailored sophisticated dress of an upper crust wife. Other actors such as Dotty and Selsdon will also be in costume as their characters from the play within the play, with Dotty resembling Mrs. Clackett, the cockney housekeeper of the Brents’ home, in a traditional housekeeper’s uniform, and Selsdon as the burglar in an all-black ensemble comprised of a black knit cap, turtleneck, matching pants, and gloves.


            Act Two fast forwards to a month later when Nothing On has already opened and is touring. The act presents the actors backstage as they are about to perform a matinee at the Theatre Royal. Already dysfunctional relationships between the cast and crew have only deteriorated further. Actors lock themselves in dressing rooms, Lloyd’s love triangle with Brooke and Poppy becomes even more complicated, Selsdon keeps disappearing, and Brooke threatens to quit. The chaos only escalates further once the curtains go up and props are misplaced, entrances are missed, pranks are played, and the backstage mayhem is punctuated at the end of the Act with Poppy loudly announcing to Lloyd that she is pregnant with his baby.


            This is only a mere glimpse into the performance pandemonium and what The Costumer has to offer for Noises Off! With the help of our rental costumes, let your artistic vision come to life and transport your audience to the world of backstage anarchy that is Noises Off! Request your free plot today!

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