DER NACKTE WAHNSINN (NOISES OFF)
Premiere in VIENNA December 2019
The director is at the end of his tether. The premiere of his comedy Nothing On is set to take place in less than 24 hours and the actors are making a hash of everything. Or could they be conspiring against him? True, they would have needed more time to rehearse this comedy in which doors are constantly being opened and slammed and where flukes, mix-ups, coincidences are the name of the game. The plot features tax evasion, real estate deals, quickies and family reunions. In short: it is a potpourri of human passions.
Now they have finally gotten through the dress rehearsal, but: after the play is before the play. It starts all over again, and this time we are watching the ensemble from our vantage point backstage. Time passes. The production is already showing signs of wear. The amorous entanglements are taking their toll, and stage directions have become a matter of negotiation. But by some miracle, nobody dies; the final curtain falls and brings relief. And then we watch the play a third time. Will it ever end?
No, it doesn’t end. Michael Frayn’s comedy is a play within a play. Frayn uses this (potentially eternal) dissolution of boundaries to get us thinking about truth and fiction, art and the production of art, and lets us celebrate the act of performing onstage and its precious aspect of freedom.
Noises Off is a production taken over from the Residenztheater Munich.