The Dripping Springs High School’s theatre department kicked off their season with the comical farce Noises Off, written by Michael Frayn. This is the most eccentric play I have seen the DSHS theatre department tackle by far, but they could not have done a better job of capturing the hilarity of the reality of what happens behind-the-scenes in theatre.
Noises Off brilliantly represents the life of the actors, directors, and backstage managers of the play Nothing On in three acts of clever screenplay. Each act changes perspective and scenery of the play Nothing On. Act One showed the viewer how rehearsal can be stressful and tedious, especially if the ensemble only has six hours till the doors open. Act Two showed the viewer what happens back stage while the show, Nothing On is being performed. Lastly, Act Three gave the viewer the actual performance of Nothing On.
As the curtains were raised for Act One, I was immediately impressed by the set design; it was the most elaborate set I have seen from DSHS theatre. There were minor discrepancies in parts of the set, but nothing that large is worth noting. In this act, I was most impressed with the acting of Cameron Adkins and Jaxson Thornton.
Adkins portrayed the director of Nothing On, Lloyd Dallas, who I found comical, as well as relatable. I really enjoyed Adkins’ character, as throughout the first act, he is with us in the audience. Adkins played Lloyd Dallas, the director of Nothing On. I most appreciated Adkins’ performance due to him being an extremely interactive character. He was constantly moving from the audience, to actually being on the stage with the other characters. He was also able to act annoyed, angry, and frustrated while not having to be front and center of the stage; which also impressed me.
In addition to Adkins, Jaxson Thornton also gave a noteworthy performance as Freddy Fellowes, an actor of the play Nothing On. One of the most unbelievable performances of the play was when Thornton’s character had a predicament with his trousers. I found this scene one of the most hilarious parts of the play and what also looked quite taxing for Thornton to perform, and I applaud him for it.
Once again, I was impressed with the set design for Act Two. It was accurate to what backstage looks like for actors with details such as the doors labeled of what room they are, the backstage manager’s podium, and the heaps of costumes and sheets thrown over the railings of the set.
I was most amazed with this act by its capability to make me laugh so much with minimal dialogue (aside from the dialogue spoken by the actors performing Nothing On on the other side of the set). This act was mainly composed of extremely animated mannerisms and gestures among the actors, which is incredibly hard to pull off without spoken words. In this act, I especially enjoyed the performances of Trinity Adams and Logan Dundon.
I found that these two actors did an incredible job of giving a very dramatic performance in this act with minimal dialogue. In Adams’ performance of the actress Belinda Balir, I especially liked her high-speed acting as she was constantly running, jumping around everywhere; she was quite a pistol. Along with Adams’ performance, I also enjoyed Dundon’s performance of the unstable, but comical character of the actor in Nothing On, Garry Lejeune. With the combination of Dundon’s character banging his head and foot on the post of the set, wanting to slash his co-stars with an axe, and drinking, he really did a remarkable job of playing this character.
Lastly for Act Three, the audience got to see the final performance of the play Nothing On. The set returns back to the front view of the setting for Nothing On. In this act, everything goes awry for the actors of Nothing On. The cues are off, lines are forgotten, too many understudies appear, and one of the characters even had a head injury; but the show must go on.
The actors in this final act I enjoyed the most were Grayson Ruiz and Nathan Dahill. Though neither of their characters are exactly leading roles, their performances were still very well done. What I appreciated most about Ruiz’s performance is her very comical, high-pitch accent as it further supplements the hilarity of her character’s clumsiness and forgetfulness.
Also with Dahill’s performance, he did an excellent job as well by playing the drunken old actor of Selsdon Mowbray. Dahill’s stance, drunken mannerisms, and the way he spoke all exhibited his high quality acting in portraying this peculiar character.
Overall, I give Dripping Spring High School theatre’s Noises Off a 4.5 out of 5 stars. All the actors in this play each gave the audience an incredible performance. What I appreciated the most out of all the actors were their dedication to master English accents, which truly exemplified the play. I can foresee all the actors doing extremely well in their next production, My Fair Lady, coming in January 2017.
Written by Alyssa Weinstein