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Noises Off Tour - casting announced

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

CASTING has been announced for the UK tour of Michael Frayn’s multi-award-winning backstage comedy Noises Off which, following its acclaimed run at the Old Vic and Novello Theatre, tours theatres across the UK and Ireland from March 27, 2013.

The line up includes David Bark-Jones, Maureen Beattie, Simon Bubb, Danielle Flett, Geoffrey Freshwater, Neil Pearson, Thomasin Rand and Sasha Waddell. Lindsay Posner directs.

Winner of both Olivier and Evening Standard Awards for Best Comedy, Noises Off serves up a riotous double bill – a play within a play. Hurtling along at breakneck speed it follows the backstage antics of a touring theatre company as they stumble their way through rehearsals to a shambolic first night and a final disastrous performance.

David Bark-Jones plays Gary Lejeune who plays Roger Tramplemain. His stage credits include Richard Hannay in The 39 Steps (Criterion Theatre), for which he received the 2010 BroadwayWorld.com award for Best West End Leading Actor, The Village Bike (Sheffield Crucible), The Forest (National Theatre) and Dealer’s Choice (National and Vaudeville Theatres).

His extensive screen work includes roles in Guy Richie’s RocknRolla and
The Da Vinci Code (film); Pride and Prejudice, New Tricks, Young James Herriott and The Pillars of the Earth (TV).

Maureen Beattie plays Dotty Otley who plays Mrs Clackett, the Brent’s housekeeper. As well as working extensively for the RSC in productions such as Titus Andronicus and The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe (as the White Witch), her most recent stage credits include Enquirer (National Theatre of Scotland) and No Quarter, which completes its run at the Royal Court on February 9.

On screen, she has appeared in Lewis, Vera, Taggart, Casualty and Twelfth Night.

Simon Bubb plays Tim Allgood, the Stage Manager. Bubb was in the original London cast of War Horse and has appeared in several other productions at the National Theatre, including St Joan, The Habit of Art and King James Bible.

Danielle Flett plays Assistant Stage Manager, Poppy Norton-Taylor. She recently played Emily in the Royal Court production of Vera Vera Vera which also ran at the Theatre Local Peckham. Her other recent theatre work includes the role of Susan in Burnt Oak (Leicester Square Theatre).

Geoffrey Freshwater plays Selsdon Mowbray who plays the Burglar. His extensive theatre work includes Old Money (Hampstead Theatre), Filumena (Almeida Theatre) and As You Like It, King Lear and Anthony and Cleopatra (RSC). He has also appeared on television in Foyle’s War, Law and Order and The Government Inspector as well as the film Invisible Women directed by Ralph Fiennes.

Neil Pearson plays the director of ‘Nothing On’, Lloyd Dallas. Although Pearson is perhaps best known for his roles in the television series Drop the Dead Donkey, Between the Lines and Monroe, plus the Bridget Jones films, his stage credits include Arcadia (Duke of York’s Theatre), Sir Peter Hall’s touring productions of Uncle Vanya, Old Times and Mind Milly for Me and Kevin Spacey’s production of Cloaca (Old Vic).

Thomasin Rand plays the part of Brooke Ashton who plays the part of Vicki. Her previous stage work includes The Country Girl directed by Rufus Norris (Apollo Theatre) and Loves Labours Lost (Shakespeare’s Globe). She has recently appeared on television in The Bletchley Circle, Midsummer Murders, Call the Midwife and Sherlock: Scandal in Belgravia.

Sasha Waddell plays Belinda Blair who plays Flavia Brent. Her theatre credits include Mollie Rallston in The Mousetrap (St Martin’s Theatre), The Seagull and Eight Women (Southwark Playhouse) and The Village Bike (Royal Court Theatre). On television, she has appeared in Parades End (as Lady Glorvina), Midsummer Murders, A Touch of Cloth and Holby City.

Lindsay Posner was Associate Director at the Royal Court Theatre from 1987 to 1992 where his production of Death and The Maiden won two Olivier Awards.

His other theatre credits include Butley (Duchess Theatre), An Ideal Husband (Vaudeville Theatre), Fool For Love and A Life in the Theatre (Apollo Theatre), Arthur Miller’s A View From The Bridge (Duke of York’s Theatre) which was nominated for four Olivier Awards, Carousel (Savoy Theatre), Fiddler on The Roof (Sheffield and Savoy Theatres), House of Games, Tom and Viv, The Hypochondriac and Romance (Almeida Theatre), the world premiere of Power and Tartuffe (National Theatre), Twelfth Night, Volpone and The Rivals (RSC), Abigail’s Party (Menier Chocolate Factory) and most recently Uncle Vanya, which completes its run at the Vaudeville Theatre on January 26.

Posner’s production of Terence Rattigan’s The Winslow Boy will open at The Old Vic in March 2013.

Michael Frayn’s other work for the stage includes The Two of Us, Alphabetical Order, Donkeys’ Years, Clouds, Balmoral, Make or Break, Benefactors, Look Look, Here, Copenhagen, Democracy and Afterlife. He has also published ten novels, including the Booker Prize-nominated Spies and Headlong.

Noises Off is the highest grossing show in the history of The Old Vic Theatre Company, breaking weekly box office records during its run at The Old Vic. As well as the first Old Vic Theatre Company production to transfer to the West End, it is also the Company’s first production to embark on a major UK tour.

Venues already confirmed for the UK tour are Bath, Cambridge, Eastbourne, Newcastle upon Tyne, Nottingham, Aberdeen, Sheffield, Norwich, Edinburgh, Salford, Belfast, Dublin and Leeds.