Sunday, December 2, 2007

“Noises Off” at PVPHS. . .

After getting in some holiday shopping this afternoon, Donna and I went to see Michael Frayn's Noises Off, the Fall play at Palos Verdes Peninsula High School (PVPHS). We have been to almost every production of the school's Drama Department for at least the past 12 years; Alicia and Seth were students there and Seth currently is the department's Technical Director.

In his Director's Notes, Jim Bell points out that after having first seen the play in 1983, he added it to the list of shows he wanted to do. He related a story that he heard that playwright Michael Frayn came "up with the idea for the play while watching one of his own plays from backstage. He thought what was going on backstage was funnier than what was being performed out front for the audience." And that is apparently what led to the writing of this wonderful farce.

The 9 students in the cast did an outstanding job. Farce is not easy to perform; it requires both physical and mental agility and a great sense of comedic timing. I resist singling out any single actor or two because "good" farce requires a true, unselfish ensemble performance. I suspect that most high schools would have difficulty staging Noises Off. However, PVPHS always seems to have an abundance of outstanding student actors and this production was no exception.

This afternoon's performance was both wonderful and a particularly fun experience for those of us in the audience who have worked in live theatre at any level. Bravo!

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