Noises Off

Michael Frayn


Hana Burešová

NOISES OFF A now-classic comedy on the subject of how (not) to do theatre. In the first part we follow the course of the final technical rehearsal before the first night of the risqué farce Nothing On, while in the second we follow its ninetieth performance from backstage. Blood, sweat and tears flow from the actors of the touring company. Why, for God’s sake, why?! It’s only theatre. But nothing goes as it should, and the words of the play’s director, Lloyd Dallas, remain wishful thinking: “That’s what it’s all about, doors and sardines. Getting the sardines on, getting the sardines off. That’s farce. That’s theatre. That’s life. Dong, dong, dong. Dong, you’re on stage. Dong, you say your lines. Dong, you get off stage. And it’ll all be fine.” Michael Frayn’s Noises Off won fame with numerous productions in theatres around the world. Directed by Hana Burešová and performed by the acting company of the Theatre in Dlouhá, it appears in Pilsen immediately after its premiere.

HANA BUREŠOVÁ (1959) Since 1996 a member of the artistic management of the Theatre in Dlouhá, together with her dramaturg Štěpán Otčenášek. She has also guest directed in other theatres (National Theatre, Vinohrady Theatre, Theatre on the Balustrade, Drama Studio in Ústí nad Labem, Viola, the Marin Držić Theatre in Dubrovnik, and regularly at the Brno City Theatre and the Ungelt Theatre). She graduated in drama direction at the DAMU theatre school in Prague, directing her first productions in Prague’s Club in Řeznická under the label DDT (Theatre Creation Cooperative). In 1988-92 she worked at the Central Bohemian Theatre of Kladno and Mladá Boleslav, and from 1992-95 at the Labyrint Theatre in Prague. Her first productions already showed considerable theatricality and musicality. She makes use of this musicality above all in playful adaptations of operettas and operas for actors: Mam´zelle Nitouche, The Barber of Seville, The Stone Guest. In addition to comedies, her repertoire has from the beginning also contained serious plays (Play Strindberg, The End of Carnival, Phaedra, Electra). Over a quarter of a century of theatre work she has thus created a distinctive personal style, and by alternating repertoire components she has successfully avoided stereotype. She has staged over sixty productions, three times winning an Alfréd Radok Award for the best production of the year (Don Juan and Faust, The Death of Paul I, The Break of Noon) and once a Theatre Critics’ Award for the best production of the year (The Lantern). Her productions of Calderón’s play The Surgeon of His Honour and Klíma’s Human Tragicomedy were nominated for the latter award.

THEATRE IN DLOUHÁ is a repertoire theatre with a permanent company. It was created in 1996 and is funded by the City of Prague. The theatre is headed by managing director Daniela Šálková and the artistic team of director Hana Burešová and dramaturg Štěpán Otčenášek. Another founding member of the team was director Jan Borna, who died in January 2017. The directorial duo SKUTR has also become a member of the theatre’s broader management, their first work at the theatre being Chekhov’s The Seagull. A basic feature of the theatre’s work is deliberate variety of style and genre. The productions make frequent use of the musical, singing and movement potential of the actors. In the spectrum of Czech theatres, Theatre in Dlouhá has defined itself as one that crosses the boundaries of standard drama in the direction of alternative, musical, puppet and cabaret theatre.