Major revival for Michael Frayn’s Noises Off at Lyric Hammersmith

Hailed as one of the funniest plays of all time, Michael Frayn’s award winning Noises Off returns to the Lyric Hammersmith this summer, nearly forty years since it premiered at the theatre and instantly became an iconic British comedy.

The multi award winning backstage comedy will be directed by Jeremy Herrin and designed by Max Jones in a new production.

Patricia Routledge & Paul Eddington in the original production. Image Donald Cooper.

With technical brilliance and split-second timing, it takes audiences behind the scenes with a company of actors in a hilarious and heartfelt tribute to the unpredictability of life in the theatre.

Michael Frayn said: “It’s a great personal pleasure for me, of course, to see my play come home, after all its travels around the world in the last forty years, to the theatre where it took its first hopeful but still uncertain steps.”

The idea for Noises Off came in 1970, when Frayn was watching from the wings a performance of The Two of Us, a farce that he had written for Lynn Redgrave.

The prototype, a short-lived one-act play called Exits, was written and performed in 1977. At the request of his associate, Michael Codron, Frayn expanded this into what would become Noises Off. It takes its title from the theatrical stage direction indicating sounds coming from offstage.

The play premièred at the Lyric Theatre, in 1982, directed by Michael Blakemore, and starring Patricia Routledge, Paul Eddington, and Nicky Henson.

It opened to universally ecstatic reviews and shortly after transferred to the Savoy Theatre in the West End, where it ran until 1987 with five successive casts. It won the Evening Standard Award for Best Comedy.

Noises Off will run at the Lyric Hammersmith from June 27 – July 27.

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