Already closed

Noises Off

Members say: Funny, Entertaining, Hilarious, Clever, Great acting
87
Critics
84
54 reviews
Members
87
526 reviews
 

Roundabout presents this farcical play-within-a-play, complete with plates of sardines, semi-dressed ingenues, and slamming doors aplenty.

... Read more

'Noises Off' is a first-rate comedy about a second-rate theatre company staging a third-rate play. The opening night performance of the farce 'Nothing On' is just hours away, and as the cast stumbles through their final dress rehearsal, things couldn't be going any worse. With lines being forgotten, love triangles unraveling and sardines flying everywhere, it’s complete pandemonium before they reach intermission. Can the cast pull their act together on the stage even if they can't behind the scenes?

 

Cast & Creatives (16)



Reviews (580)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
84
Avg Score

90
The New York Times

"The heady, headlong and altogether hilarious farce providing generous doses of heat-generating laughter as the winter chill finally sets in…Once it hits its lively stride, Mr. Herrin’s production rollicks along with machine-tooled precision, churning out belly laughs as if from an assembly line…'Noises Off' would be a mere dissertation in clever dramaturgical mechanics, were it not for the expertly drawn characters, here embodied by a first-rate cast." Full Review

70
New York Post

"The ensemble in the new Broadway revival includes some of the funniest people in the biz. And they’re having a ball, each one firing up at least one memorable scene or move...At times it seems as if the cast is so focused on hitting its marks — 'Noises Off' requires Swiss-like precision — that the actors forget to have fun. Let’s hope that with time, they’ll become as comfortable as sardines in oil, and the production should gear up into the required breakneck speed and unhinged ­lunacy." Full Review

95
Theatermania

"The funniest backstage comedy ever written…Director Jeremy Herrin painstakingly sets up the dominoes in a muted first act, only to knock them down in spectacular fashion in the second, and dynamite them in the third...Cheeky design, a highly talented ensemble, and perfect comic timing: This 'Noises Off' has the right combination of elements to make the perpetually funny comedy soar. If you're looking for a night of gut-busting hilarity, you can't do any better than this one." Full Review

90
BroadwayWorld

"An uproarious new revival solidly mounted by Jeremy Herrin, featuring a fantastic ensemble of seasoned stage actors strutting their stuff…The gifted clown Andrea Martin is just darling as Dotty…Jeremy Shamos is very funny as the good-natured, but nervous wreck Frederick, and has a bit of physical business about regaining his footing that might very well get him nominated for an Astaire Award…'Noises Off' is a night of wild, frenetic fun." Full Review

90
Variety

"Funny lady Andrea Martin leads the nimble cast of this well-tooled revival...Martin who was born to make us laugh, is a perfect hoot in the pivotal role of the scatterbrained actress…On the laugh meter, Act I is only so-so. But as a setup for the next two acts, it’s brilliant. Act II is bust-a-gut funny…'Noises Off' seems to be always playing somewhere in the civilized world...And that’s exactly the way it should be, because this kind of comedic brilliance never gets stale." Full Review

60
Time Out New York

"'Noises Off' is a precision-timed laugh machine, and director Jeremy Herrin’s ensemble is peppered with some of New York’s finest comic actors. So why did I chuckle so little? Various excuses could be made. There’s the culture gap: Good as our American troupers are, they don’t quite get the jauntily sleazy vibe of English sex comedy. Or the fault lies in the director...All due respect to the gamely guffawing audience with whom I attended, but I wanted to make more noise." Full Review

100
New York Magazine / Vulture

"This cast is so well-matched that they really do seem to have been working together for months….Indeed, the astonishing thing about the contrivances is that, in a well-judged production like this one, they eventually break into yet another sphere…How something can be both nonsense and (in the context of the play) inevitable is a great and beautiful mystery, one that makes 'Noises Off' not just one of the funniest plays ever written but one of the best." Full Review

95
The Huffington Post

"This 'Noises Off' is splendidly delirious fun…A perfectly-calibrated production which brings full value to Frayn's text while adding layers of visual humor that leaves audiences hooting with delight…Herrin's production is slam-bang, knockdown funny…Director Herrin has pulled out all the stops with this 'Noises Off,' with a fair share of the credit due the insanely warped mind of Michael Frayn, who dreamed the contraption up." Full Review

70
The Guardian (UK)

"An excellent cast, though notably undiverse, except in terms of acting styles, which is something of a problem…Is it funny? Of course it’s funny. It’s very funny. It can’t help but be very funny. Even the terrible movie version is funny. But could it be funnier? Well, yes…The actors don’t quite seem to be in the same play or even the same play within a play…The chemistry of the whole cast only crackles sometimes." Full Review

80
Theater Life

"Director Jeremy Herrin gets most of the necessary split-second timing right but also slides in a bit of character development...'Noises Off' doesn’t have much on its mind other than making audiences laugh, this production does that in spades, but also gives us a group of real people falling down the stairs, slamming doors, and slipping on dropped sardines, which makes the antics all the funnier." Full Review

80
DC Theatre Scene

"An impressive nine-member cast, made up of the best of Broadway today…I can’t remember ever hearing laughter at a higher sustained volume for any show on Broadway…Such a reaction en masse is just a slightly alienating experience for those of us who can’t help viewing this three-decade-old farce as little more than 'The Three Stooges' with a British accent...Such proscenium pandemonium requires precise coordination, and director Jeremy Herrin is clearly up to the task." Full Review

85
Lighting & Sound America

"To work, any production of 'Noises Off' requires the most exacting direction. Happily, the director has attended to every tiny gear embedded in Frayn's comic mechanism, allowing it to function with Swiss precision...The current version is going to make a lot of people happy, for very good reason. It's the kind of show that, days later, maybe in a low moment, you think of again -- and find yourself chuckling helplessly." Full Review

70
Front Row Center

"For the most part this cast has these characters buttoned down tighter than a ship’s canvas...If you don’t care a whit for meaning or purpose or terribly deep thoughts – treat yourself to a bundle of laughs." Full Review

50
The Huffington Post

"Jeremy Herrin directs a pitch perfect cast and really I have no complaints. The actors are committed and create specific, real characters, which can and should make the comedy funnier. They're not just delivering broad comedy here...I certainly had a fine time and enjoyed it much more than the revival of 2001. But somehow, it left me cold." Full Review

95
The Huffington Post

"It's easy to see why 'Noises Off' is a theatrical favorite. And the current incarnation, with a superb cast hits the mark. Hilty's goofy blonde clicks, while Martin, a Broadway staple, doesn't miss a beat. Director Jeremy Herrin has assembled a sharp ensemble that delivers comedy gold." Full Review

75
The Hollywood Reporter

"The performances haven't yet clicked into the tight lockstep required to make Frayn's intricate comedy run at full tilt…While there are some brilliant set-pieces and terrific physical comedy, the repetition built into the material grows tiring...Despite its wit, structural inventiveness and reputation as one of the all-time great farces, this is a tough play to pull off. Even if they're not 100 percent there yet, Herrin and his ace cast seem well on their way to mastering it." Full Review

100
The Wall Street Journal

"The second act in particular is a whirligig of slapstick choreography for whose pristine execution Mr. Herrin deserves the highest possible marks. The secret ingredient of his production is that Mr. Herrin has gone to similar lengths to ensure that every member of the cast plays for truth, not laughs—which makes you laugh twice as hard…Complaints? I’ve got none. This show is flawless." Full Review

90
AM New York

"For 'Noises Off' to work on a basic level, its thoroughly intricate physical activity must be staged with the precision of a ballet. But a great production, which this revival certainly is, builds the slapstick around truthful performances, thus making the chaos feel natural…Act Two is a tour-de-force of silent comedy…Jeremy Herrin has brought together a dynamic ensemble cast of stage veterans." Full Review

95
Talkin' Broadway

"Director Jeremy Herrin and his near-consummate cast have achieved a feat I'd previously deemed impossible: They've unlocked more complexities in 'Nothing On,' the thoroughly absurd play-within-a-play…'Nothing On' means something powerful to each and every person putting it on…It's to Herrin's immense credit that so many of the thousand jokes still hit their targets, when they never seem to be his prevailing goal." Full Review

75
New York Daily News

"This production gets about it about halfway right — so even with a soggy and slack final stretch, you’re left grinning over the show’s sly inner workings…Act I, set amid a dress rehearsal of 'Nothing On,' lands some good laughs…Act II, set a month later, rotates the perspective…This is when real show hits its stride. It’s packed tight as a tin of sardines with laughter. But Act III, set a month later, leads to diminishing returns. It strives to be madcap merry mayhem, but it’s overly long ov... Full Review

90
Deadline

"A percussive dose of slamming doors, wince-inducing pratfalls and enough suggestive tomfoolery to fill the bill at Minsky’s…Jeremy Herrin lets 'Noises Off' wind up a bit slowly, but once all the gears are in synch, the show is a dazzlement of set-pieces fit together with jigsaw perfection. Martin returns to her roots as a mistress of the comic gesture, doing more with a plate of fish or an old newspaper than you may have imagined possible." Full Review

70
CurtainUp

"The Roundabout has certainly assembled a team of farceurs who handle Frayn's ingeniously constructed mayhem with zest and the required timing…Somehow, despite quite a few funny bits, the first act is more a chuckle than a belly-holding laugh fest. The actors seemed to be working a bit too hard which became obvious as they go full steam into the ever more disastrous trajectory of the 'Noises On' tour." Full Review

95
Front Mezz Junkies

"This nearly perfect British farce is getting another spectacular revival…This team is perfection, making it all look so easy and seamless. All should be credited with the word, ‘spectacular’...The only complaint I have of this whole shows lies in the portrayal of love and attraction... I can’t say I ever believed in the love or the affairs, I never really saw it, nor felt it...This cast of professionals are spot on perfect, never missing a beat or failing to get the laugh. Full Review

75
TheaterScene.net

"Though the production is entertaining for its comic portrayals, it fails to trigger all the laughs inherent in the script or become the laugh riot it is intended to be...The stage business is clockwork in its precision but the play’s timing lacks the breakneck speed of an Acela for this farce within a farce. The fine cast, however, attuned to their specific and generically comic roles, all have their funny bits and memorable moments finding themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time." Full Review

95
The Associated Press

"Michael Frayn's farce about putting on a stage farce is breathlessly clever and funny, a staple of the contemporary theater repertoire. How can it be made even funnier? The Roundabout Theatre Company somehow has found a way...An all-star group of comedic talents allowed to run riot…Everyone onstage has to believe that the risks are real, and this new ensemble never mugs or winks. They are utterly, terribly good at being bad, which is meant as a supreme compliment." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
87
Avg Score

91
Funny, Clever, Fast-paced

See it if you want a good laugh - this play is hilarious! Especially if you've ever worked in any kind of theatre....

Don't see it if you're looking for a drama.

94
Hilarious, Silly, Fast-paced, Farce

See it if you want to see one of the most impeccable farces ever written and performed! Literally could not catch my breath from laughing!

Don't see it if farce isn't your thing.

89
Funny, Clever, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if you like slapstic comedy

Don't see it if if you don't like slapstick

80
Funny, Delightful, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if Great pacing and comedic timing. A very nice revival.

Don't see it if you won't, it closed.

95
Dizzying, Great writing, Hilarious, Madcap, Zany

See it if you love to laugh -- this is an absolutely brilliant farce bursting with meticulously-choreographed physical comedy. So much fun!!

Don't see it if you're a grump.

90
Delightful, Great acting, Hilarious, Entertaining, Play within a play

See it if You want to laugh out loud. You're like a top-notch, stellar cast such as Campbell Scott, David Furr, Megan Hilty & more. You like the film.

Don't see it if You don't like theater (it's about people working on a play and you see parts of the play twice, once from backstage & once onstage).

100
Great acting, Masterful, Must see, Great writing, Great staging

See it if you want to see a perfect comedy.

Don't see it if you only like drama

70
Funny, Clever, Quirky, Disappointing, Great staging

See it if you like farce.

Don't see it if you would expect a LOL moment.

80
Funny, Great acting, Dated, Entertaining

See it if you can get past the play being dated and want to see a talented ensemble act the hell out of this comedy, Megan Hilty's stunt on the stairs

Don't see it if you don't like farce or would find endless repetition too boring to appreciate the comical nuances

80
Funny, Entertaining, Fun, Silly, Outdated

See it if you like classic "people-rushing-in-and-out-of-doors" comedies done well!

Don't see it if screwball comedies make you sad and cry

75
Great acting, Refreshing, Hilarious, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if Knockout comedy performances - especially David Furr and Megan Hilty - and a very clever door slamming farce.

Don't see it if You want something heavy and significant.

82
Absorbing, Great acting, Hilarious, Fast-paced

See it if you like ensembles who seem to be having a ton of fun together; you appreciate sight gags; you like plays about/within plays

Don't see it if you want something serious / that takes itself seriously

83
Funny, Ambitious, Clever, Great acting, Farce

See it if you like broad humor, constant rushing on and off stage, and door slamming

Don't see it if you don't like broad humor, constant rushing on and off stage, and door slamming. It can get loud and almost anxiety producing

96
Clever, Dizzying, Great acting, Hilarious, Great staging

See it if You like farces, funny plays, and whirlwinds!

Don't see it if You don't like laughing.

75
Clever, Dated, Hilarious, Great staging

See it if you enjoy physical comedy and jokes that build. I didn't laugh much in act 1 but it worked for me once the repetition kicked in.

Don't see it if you don't enjoy physical comedy and somewhat juvenile, cliched humor, well-done as it might be.

68
Funny, Dizzying, Confusing, Fun, Silly

See it if you want to see something silly and over the top.

Don't see it if you don't like repetition.

95
Delightful, Dizzying, Great acting, Hilarious, Great staging

See it if You love an intricately constructed play that's absolutely hysterical

Don't see it if You don't like farce; this one is all about the farce

80
Funny, Ambitious

See it if you are looking for a fluffy, hilarious, quick-paced comedy.

Don't see it if you don't like British accents or farce

85
Funny, Delightful, Great acting, Quirky, Hilarious

See it if you want to laugh out loud and cry from laughter

Don't see it if you don't like ridiculousness

80
Funny, Great acting, Quirky, Great writing, Entertaining

See it if you enjoy farcical comedy and slapstick humor.

Don't see it if you have a hard time following fast-paced comedy.

83
Funny, Clever, Great acting, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if you have never seen this show before; it's a well executed production (all about the timing); Megan Hilty is hilarious!

Don't see it if you've seen it before (nothing new here); you don't like slap stick-ish comedy; thin plot, all about the sight gags and an amateur theater

85
Funny, Delightful, Great acting, Entertaining, Andrea martin

See it if If you are an Andrea Martin fan

Don't see it if if you don't like slapstick

70
Disappointing, Overrated, Great staging

See it if You never saw it before, like a heavy handed take on comedy.

Don't see it if You loved earlier, much better revivals of the show. I loved the show before and was ready for big laughs. I hardly smiled once this time

70
Funny, Great writing, Disappointing, Overrated, Entertaining

See it if You want a comedy with some strong laughs

Don't see it if You love farce and have high expectations a.

90
Funny, Quirky, Hilarious, Great staging

See it if you want a funny play just to enjoy and laugh at. Full of hilarious characters and clever staging, you'll be laughing till your sides hurt.

Don't see it if you get easily confused. The show-within-a-show plot mixing with the actual characters' plot can get a little confusing at times.