Sunday, February 13th, 2011
THE comedy curtain is lifted on backstage blunders and stage slip-ups in Playlovers’ latest production, following a sell-out season in Duncraig last year.

Written by Michael Frayne and directed by Amanda Crewes, Noises Off follows the on-and-offstage antics of a B-grade British theatre company as it stumbles from dress rehearsal to disastrous final night of a third-rate comedy.

Described as “possibly the funniest play ever written”, it features a play within a play – and everything that can go wrong ends up happening.

Crewes previously directed Noises Off for St Stephen's School last year and describes it as “pure entertainment”.

“I sometimes think the reason why Perth theatres struggle to maintain audiences is because of the material being presented,” she said.

“A large percentage of the population wants to go out at the end of a hard day and be entertained, leaving the theatre laughing and saying ‘That was a great night out!’

“After seeing the audience's response to my original production where, several times, the show came to a standstill so the audience could regain its composure, I feel Noises Off provides that opportunity.”

In Noises Off, the audience sees the problems the cast and crew have the night before the show opens, then a month into the touring production when friendships begin to fray.

“Finally, towards the end of the season, the play is almost unrecognisable as the actors’ personal lives intrude into the show itself,” Crewes said.

“We end up seeing the total disintegration of the relationships within the cast.

“These characters also do not come up with the best solutions when faced with some very immediate problems.”

Performing from age eight, Crewes has been involved with Playlovers since she was 12 and went on to study at the WA Academy of Performing Arts.

Since then, she has worked professionally with Effie Crump, Class Act, Handzon, Agelink, Kompany M and Barking Gecko Theatres, Dirty Dicks Theatre Restaurant and the Perth Theatre Company.

With Noises Off, Crewes says her main challenge is the demanding nature of staging a farce.

“It’s a vigorous exercise but, at the same time, very delicate,” she said.

“Played well and furiously, a farce draws us into its own logic and creates its own sense of truth.

“The characters of farce are always trying to recover from some disaster that occurred by behaviour that is so ill-judged that it makes the situation worse.”

Crewes’ set for the show is also something of an achievement – it is two storeys high, revolves and has seven doors and nine entrances.

Noises Off plays at 8pm, February 25, 26, March 3, 4, 5, 10, 11 and 12 and 7pm, March 6. Tickets are $20, $15 concession – book on 0415 777 173 or [email protected]

Playlovers is located at Hackett Hall, Draper Street (off Underwood Avenue), Floreat, Western Australia. More information about Playlovers is at

Adelle Munsie as Brooke in Noises Off.

Katie Ostrowski as Belinda and Brett Hatfield as Freddy.

Adelle Munsie as Brooke and Jarred Scarpa as Garry.

The impressive set for Noises Off.

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Playlovers has been in operation for more than 50 years. Generally performing from Hackett Hall, Draper Street, Floreat, the company puts on four to six seasons a year - including one to two musicals.

Members are encouraged to participate in all aspects of the club: on the creative side (performing, directing, etc), the more technical activities (lighting, backstage, set-building, costume-making, etc) or on the sidelines (serving teas and coffees, and generally helping with other front of house activities).
Amanda Crewes
P: 0400 025 079


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