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Jeremy Herrin to direct a bold new production of Noises Off at the Lyric Hammersmith

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

MICHAEL Frayn’s award-winning Noises Off is returning to the Lyric Hammersmith nearly forty years since it premiered to great acclaim at the theatre in 1982 and instantly became an iconic British comedy.

This new production of the multi award-winning backstage comedy, which runs from June 27 to July 27, 2019, will be directed by Jeremy Herrin and designed by Max Jones, who is currently working on All My Sons at The Old Vic.

With technical brilliance and split-second timing, Noises Off takes audiences behind the scenes with a company of actors in a hilarious and heartfelt tribute to the unpredictability of life in the theatre.

Michael Frayn said: “It’s a great personal pleasure for me, of course, to see my play come home, after all its travels around the world in the last forty years, to the theatre where it took its first hopeful but still uncertain steps.”

Casting and full creative team will be announced in due course.

Michael Frayn has written sixteen plays, including Copenhagen, Afterlife, Benefactors, Donkeys’ Years and Democracy. He has also translated for the theatre, mostly Chekhov and other plays from the Russian, and adapted Chekhov’s first, untitled play as Wild Honey. He has written a number of screenplays, including Clockwise, starring John Cleese.

His eleven novels include The Tin Men, Towards the End of the Morning, Headlong, Spies and Skios. He has also published various collections of articles, including Collected Columns, Stage Directions and Travels with a Typewriter; two works of philosophy, Constructions and The Human Touch; and a memoir, My Father’s Fortune.

His most recent book, Matchbox Theatre, a collection of thirty short entertainments, was produced on the stage by Hampstead Theatre in May 2015. Copenhagen was revived at the Chichester Festival Theatre in 2018 (director Michael Blakemore).

Original production of Noises Off at the Lyric Hammersmith. Photo credit: Donald Cooper.

Jeremy Herrin is Artistic Director of Headlong where his directing credits include All My Sons (The Old Vic); Labour of Love (Noël Coward Theatre); People, Places and Things (National Theatre/West End/UK Tour/New York); This House (National Theatre/West End/UK Tour), Common (National Theatre); The House They Grew Up In (Chichester Festival Theatre); Junkyard (Bristol Old Vic/Theatr Clwyd/Rose Theatre Kingston); The Nether (Royal Court/West End); Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme (UK Tour) and The Absence of War (UK Tour).

His other numerous directing credits include the world premiere of Hilary Mantel’s Man Booker prize-winning novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies in two parts (RSC/West End/Broadway) for which he was nominated for an Olivier and Tony Award for Best Director; That Face (Royal Court/Duke of York’s); Tusk Tusk for which he received an Evening Standard Award nomination, No Quarter, Hero and Kin, The Heretic, The Priory, The Vertical Hour (Royal Court); The Plough and the Stars (National Theatre, co-directed with Howard Davies); The Tempest, Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespeare’s Globe); and Absent Friends (Harold Pinter Theatre).

Image (bottom): Original production of Noises Off at the Lyric Hammersmith. Photo credit: Donald Cooper.

Tickets: From £10 – on sale today (February 15) for Lyric supporters and friends, and on general sale from midday on Monday, February 18, 2019. To book, call the box office on 020 8741 6850 or visit

Times: Monday to Saturday at 7:30pm. Also Saturday and Wednesday at 2.30pm, except week commencing July 1 when matinee performances will be on Saturday and Thursday at 2:30pm.

Open Captioned Performance: Saturday, July 20, 2019 at 2:30pm.

Audio Described Performance: Saturday, July 20, 2019 at 7:30pm.

Also at the Lyric Hammersmith: The Animals and Children Took to the Streets (February 19 to March 16) and Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman’s Ghost Stories (March 29 to May 11, 2019).

Rachel O’Riordan, who joins the Lyric Hammersmith as the new Artistic Director, will announce her first season later in Spring.