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English Riot, Flying a Farce

English Riot, Flying a Farce

Who: Jon English
What: Noises Off
Where: Civic Theatre
Author: Gillian McNally
When: Tuesday September 22, 1998

JON ENGLISH is having a riot of a time performing in MICHAEL FRAYN'S hilarious NOISES OFF.

'It's touted as the funniest play ever written and if there's actually one funnier I haven't heard of it,' English said from Brisbane last week.

'It's the pace and the energy of it. It's flat out, a real work-out.'

For English, who heads the star-studded cast that includes MAX GILLIES, BRUCE SAMAZAN and CATHY GODBOLD, NOISES OFF is his first foray into plays.

'I have never done a play-play", one that's not a musical, but they sent me the script and when I read it I loved it,' he said.

'I had doubts at first, but it's only a short season and I thought why not, I've never been one to shy away from doing something new.

'This is a very clever script, one of the cleverist I have ever read, it's quite amazing.'

The complex chain of events in the fast-paced comedy made for a difficult few weeks of rehearsal for English.

'Every part of the script relates to a bit that happens later, so if you start questioning something, like why do I put this bag down there . . . you realise later that you have to do it that way. 'It's in three acts, the first is the night before the opening night, and there's a lot of running around the place screwing things up.

'The director actually sits in the audience and yells things out. The second act is set backstage six or seven weeks into it and you see what goes on backstage. 'Then the third act is set three months later when the whole thing is screwed up.'

NOISES OFF plays at the Civic Theatre from Tuesday September 22 to Saturday 26. Tickets are available through Ticketek.

TE has a double pass for front row seats to NOISES OFF. To enter the draw, send an envelope with your name, address and telephone number, to NOISES OFF GIVEAWAY, PO Box 200, Newcastle, 2300. Or click your entry through at the TE website at www.nnp.com.au.

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