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JANUARY 2020 | Volume 187


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Noises Off
by Michael Frayn
Arts Club Theatre Company
Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage
Jan. 23-Feb. 23
From $29
www.artsclub.com or 604-687-1644

In 1970, when playwright Michael Frayn was watching a performance of the farce The Two of Us from the wings, he realized that the antics happening backstage were even funnier than the play itself. This observation served as the inspiration for his Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award–winning comedy, Noises Off.

Hailed as the funniest farce ever written, Noises Off treats audiences to a hilarious peek at a second-tier acting troupe performing a show. With egos, insecurities, and tempers flaring backstage—and forgotten lines, missed cues, and misplaced sardines onstage—this cast threatens to strike the old adage “the show must go on.” 

At the heart of the story is Lloyd Dallas (Andrew McNee), disgruntled director of the play-within-a-play, Nothing’s On. The love triangle between Lloyd, assistant stage manager Poppy Norton-Taylor (Ming Hudson), and actress Brooke Ashton (Tess Degenstein) is merely the cherry on top of this deliciously drama-filled comedy. As time goes by, things escalate until pandemonium ensues and axe-wielding costars, whiskey-sodden cast members, and poorly kept secrets take centre stage. Can the cast pull their act together for the audience even if they can't behind the scenes?

On this programming choice, Artistic Director Ashlie Corcoran said, “Michael Frayn takes the tried and true qualities of farce and then employs them, manipulates them, and celebrates them. And, in doing so, he creates a genius love letter to theatre. The piece requires a kind of comedic precision—creating verbal and physical patterns—that I know our director, Scott Bellis, will knock out of the park.”

“A spectacularly funny, peerless backstage farce. This dizzy, well-known romp is festival of delirium." –The New York Times

Tess Degenstein (Brooke Ashton), Charlie Gallant (Garry Lejeune), Ming Hudson (Poppy Norton-Taylor), Andy Maton (Selsdon Mowbray), Nora McLellan (Tim Allgood), Andrew McNee (Lloyd Dallas), Emma Slipp (Belinda Blair), Jovanni Sy (Frederick Fellowes), Colleen Winton (Dotty Otley)

Scott Bellis (Director), Ted Roberts (Set Designer), Christine Reimer (Costume Designer), Alan Brodie (Lighting Designer), Anton Lipovetsky (Sound Designer), Alison Matthews (Dialect Coach), Michelle Thorne (Assistant Director), Angela Beaulieu (Stage Manager), Ronaye Haynes (Assistant Stage Manager)

January 23–February 23, 2020 (Media opening: January 29)

Tue–Thu at 7:30 PM, Fri and Sat at 8 PM, Wed at 1:30 PM, and Sat & Sun at 2 PM
Sunday Salon: Sun, Feb 2, 2 PM
Tuesday Talkback: Tue, Feb 11, 7:30 PM
Relaxed Performance: Mon, Feb 16, 7 PM
VocalEye Performances: Sun, Feb 16, 2 PM, and Fri, Feb 21, 8 PM

The Arts Club, one of the largest not-for-profit theatre companies in the country, is the principal gathering place for the theatrical arts in British Columbia. Comprising three unique venues across Vancouver, the Arts Club welcomes more than a quarter million guests annually, tours provincially and nationally, and engages students and artists alike through educational and professional programs.

Above all, the Arts Club is dedicated to the advancement of local artists telling stories from around the globe and, in particular, those of our region. From this, we believe that culture expands, an understanding of differences is nurtured, and art bursts forth. The Arts Club was founded in 1964 and is currently led by Artistic Director Ashlie Corcoran and Executive Director Peter Cathie White.




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Vancouver's arts and culture website providing theatre news, previews and reviews