“Noises Off” Makes a Bang


By Elizabeth Smislova

Watching the Mimes and Mummers production of “Noises Off” was like watching myself go through senior year. In the hilarious play about a play written by Michael Frayn and directed by Michael Flanagan, nothing goes right, people feud and laugh, things fall apart, yet somehow the show still goes on. Also akin to senior year, I could not stop laughing.

The actors perfectly portrayed their stereotypical characters, including a sarcastic and demanding director (Liam Doolan), a gossip-loving and overly sweet housewife (Katie Moore-Gillon), her insecure, tax-evading husband (Brian Kennelly), an alcoholic old woman (Jameson Connors), a dim-witted beauty (Amanda McNulty), the overworked stage hands (Abby Turbenson and Colleen Granberg), a tempered posing business-man (Tom Cobb) and, of course, the irrational landlady constantly concerned about the infamous sardines (Katie Dolan)

These sardines are very important in the show, though do not ask me why, because I cannot really tell you. However, that is not the point, which is something that is also missing from the play. This is the opposite of a drawback from the show, as I thoroughly enjoyed the absence of a set plot in “Noises Off.” When a group of people work in close proximity with each other for a long amount of time, which is a common occurrence when producing a show, their inner drama can be (and in this case, is) more entertaining than the show itself.

Each actor flawlessly portrayed his or her character, down to the subtle mannerisms and absurd accents. Throughout the three acts, which take the audience behind the scenes of different parts of putting on a ridiculous play, the characters remain the same and stick to their archetypal tropes. It is the only show I have seen that involves virtually no character development, which made it all the more amusing.

While one could make existential analyses about “Noises Off,” like the direction of God can never fully control people’s behavior (the characters in this analogy) despite specific instructions, I think it is more fun to take it at face value. The actors have fantastic chemistry, and the work they have put in and the fun they are having is obvious. It could have easily been a production on Broadway—yes, it was that good. I laughed the entire time, and hope everyone has a chance to see it this weekend. You will not be disappointed, especially if you love drama (and everyone secretly does).

Katie Dolan (Dotty and costume designer) said about the show, “After a process that felt like the drama found within “Noises Off” itself at times—prop confusion, doors breaking, the full works—we are so glad that the final product is something we can have fun doing, a feeling we hope the audience has too.”

Performances are Nov. 16-18 at 8:00 pm and Nov. 19 at 2:00 pm in Collins Auditorium. Admission is five dollars with a student ID and 10 dollars without. Thursday’s performance is free for students.