Noises Off

by Michael Frayn

directed by Fran Morley

Performed at the

Plaza Theatre, Romsey


21st to 24th February 1990

Noises Off was first presented, by arrangement with Michael Codron, at the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith, on 23rd February 1982, and on 31st March by Michal Codron at the Savoy Theatre London. It had an enormously successful six year run and has only recently become available for amateur performance.

The Times Literary Supplement said when it opened “Michael Frayn’s new play is a farce about a farce, taking the cliches of the genre and shaking them inventively through a series of kaleidoscopic patterns. Never missing a trick, it has as its first act a pastiche of traditional farce; as its second, a contemporary variant on the formula; as its third, an elaborate undermining of it. The play opens with a touring company dress-rehearsing Nothing On, a conventional farce. Mixing mockery and homage, Frayn heaps into this play-withina-play a hilarious melee of stock characters and situations”.


Michael Frayn, novelist, playwright, translator, has written a number of plays for the stage including the award winning Alphabetical Order and Donkey's Years. His translation of The Cherry Orchard is currently in London, the Nuffield Theatre in Southampton has just been host to the Premier of his translation of Yuri Trifomov’s play Exchange and his skill as a writer of screenplays has been seen on television recently in Clockwise, starring John Cleese, and First and Last, starring Joss Ackland. Noises Off is probably his best known .work for the stage.

Cast (in order of appearance)
Dotty Otley Ros Liddiard
Ros became a Masker in 1986, having been acting since she was 12. She has played a prominent part in the company both as a leading Actress and Director in the Nuffield Theatre and at Mottisfont Abbey.
Lloyd Dallas Malcolm Brown
Malcolm started acting at school in South Wales and with various groups there, notably Cowbridge Amateur Society and Cardiff Little Theatre. On arrival in Hampshire he joined the Chesil Theatre in Winchester, and The Maskers Theatre as well. He's played Aimwell in The Beaux Stratagem and Don Antonio in The Rover, both at Mottisfont Abbey, and Maxim deWinter in Rebecca and Freddie in A Day in the Death of Joe Egg at the Nuffield. You may catch his voice in between programmes on TVS where he's a continuity announcer or at weekends on Ocean Sound.
Gary Lejeune Steve Clarke
Steve is a cartographer working for the Ordnance Survey, and is married ,with a 1½ year old daughter. This is Steve’s debut with The Maskers and he brings a wealth of experience to the company, starting at age 6 as the Third Wise Man in his Junior School nativity play. More substantial parts have followed at the Archway Theatre, Horley, including Alan Strong in Equus, Valere in Tartuffe, Eric Burling in An Inspector Calls and Rev Parris in The Crucible.
Brooke Ashton Maria Hutchings
Maria presently works for the Halifax Building Society and lives with her husband in Hedge End. She joined The Maskers in 1988, and played the part of Eva in The Accrington Pals. She has been acting since the age of 11, and is now looking for a new vocation in life.
Poppy Norton-Taylor Eleanor Blott
Eleanor hopes to go to Drama School next year, and joined The Maskers last October to improve her skills and experience. For the last two years she has been at Richard Taunton College, Southampton, where she studied Art, Theatre Studies, English Literature and Design & Technology. Parts in college productions included Marianne in The Miser, Lulu in The Birthday Party, Felicity in The Real Inspector Hound and of course pantomime.
Frederick Fellowes Ian Morley
Ian is a Senior Lecturer at La Sainte Union College in Southampton, and is married to Noises Off Director, Fran. He joined The Maskers in 1987 and has since played in both Rebecca and Flare Path. Previous roles have been from the smallest church hall to the Kenya National Theatre and include the prosecutor in The Vigil and the Tramp in She Stoops To Conquer. Ian's hobbies have recently come to include Golf, but he doesn't reckon to threaten local course records yet!
Belinda Blair Belinda Drew
Belinda is an actor/teacher working in Hampshire Theatre in Education. She is well known to audiences of The Maskers, with many leading roles to her credit at the Nuffield Theatre, Mottisfont Abbey open-air productions, and here at The Plaza. Also a Musical Director for the company, next month she makes her directing debut at this theatre with 84 Charing Cross Road.
Tim Allgood Robin Petherbridge
Robin now works in Advertising, and from modest beginnings as the 'third shepherd' with St Anne's Kindergarten, Bexhill-on-Sea, Robin's acting career later blossomed at Sheffield University with leading roles in Salad Days, Habeas Corpus, The Importance of Being Earnest, Davids Hare's, Teeth and Smiles, and the rock musical Everything's Everything at the 1976 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The distinguished National Theatre actor Edward Petherbridge is unfortunately no relation. This is Robin's first appearance with The Maskers.
Selsdon Mowbray Mike Turner
Mike is making his debut with The Maskers. Mike has avoided both Fame and Fortune by working as... a butcher boy, paper boy, LAC (RAF), Library Assistant, Piston Tester, Farm Labourer, Oil Refinery Operative, Teacher, Coal Delivery Man, Assistant Stage Manager, Theatre Director (T.I.E.), Writer and Interviewer. In that order. More or less.
For the Maskers
Director Fran Morley
Fran, our Director, is a teacher by profession and in addition to The Maskers - for which this is her fourth production - she has directed middle school children, youth club members and prep school boys. Her last Maskers play was also at The Plaza - Flare Path. Acting roles have included Sheila in A Day in the Death of Joe Egg and Titania in The Dream.
Assistant to the Director Diane Brown
Set Designer Mike Wharf
Set Construction by Roger Lockett, Geoff Cook, Ken Hann, Peter Liddiard, Graham Buchanan, Larry Bartell, John Riggs, Mike Johnson, Brian Stansbridge
Set Painted by Ken Spencer
Lighting Designer Clive Weeks
Sound Tony Lawther, Lawrie Gee
Wardrobe Jan Ward
Properties Ella Lockett, Jean Durman
Stage Manager Angie Barks
Assistant Stage Managers Kathryn Morley, Diane Brown, Julia Campone, Albie Minns, Dave Hutchings, Sue Coleman
Publicity Michael Patterson

This is the main show programme:

It contained this advertising insert:

Here is the "play-within-the-play" programme:


click on a photo to enlarge it


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