Noises Off

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Noises Off, the classic farce by the Tony Award—winning author of Copenhagen, is not one play but two: simultaneously a traditional sex farce, Nothing On, and the backstage “drama” that develops during Nothing On’s final rehearsal and tour. The two begin to interlock as the characters make their exits from Nothing On only to find themselves making entrances into the even worse nightmare going on backstage. In the end, at the disastrous final performance, the two plots can be kept separate no longer, and coalesce into a single collective nervous breakdown.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
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About the author

Michael Frayn has written plays, novels, and screenplays, in additioin to being a journalist, documentary filmmaker, and translator of Chekhov. His thirteen plays include Copenhagen, which was awarded the Tony Award for Best Play, as well as the Outer Critics Circle and Drama Desk awards and, in the United Kingdom, the Olivier and Evening Standard awards. His novel Headlong was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. His most recent novel, Spies, was published in 2002. Born in London in 1933 and educated at Cambridge, Frayn is married to the biographer and critic Claire Tomalin; they live in London.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
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4.6
9 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
Anchor
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Published on
Nov 19, 2008
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Pages
176
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ISBN
9780307488886
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Language
English
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Genres
Drama / European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
Fiction / Literary
Fiction / Satire
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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The great master of farce turns to an exclusive island retreat for a comedy of mislaid identities, unruly passions, and demented, delicious disorder

On the private Greek island of Skios, the high-paying guests of a world-renowned foundation prepare for the annual keynote address, to be given this year by Dr. Norman Wilfred, an eminent authority on the scientific organization of science. He turns out to be surprisingly youthful, handsome, and charming—quite unlike his reputation as dry and intimidating. Everyone is soon eating out of his hands. So, even sooner, is Nikki, the foundation's attractive and efficient organizer.

Meanwhile, in a remote villa at the other end of the island, Nikki's old friend Georgie has rashly agreed to spend a furtive horizontal weekend with a notorious schemer, who has characteristically failed to turn up. Trapped there with her instead is a pompous, balding individual called Dr. Norman Wilfred, who has lost his whereabouts, his luggage, his temper, and increasingly all sense of reality—indeed, everything he possesses other than the text of a well-traveled lecture on the scientific organization of science.

In a spiraling farce about upright academics, gilded captains of industry, ambitious climbers, and dotty philanthropists, Michael Frayn, the farceur "by whom all others must be measured" (CurtainUp), tells a story of personal and professional disintegration, probing his eternal theme of how we know what we know even as he delivers us to the outer limits of hilarity.

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