Ballet & Dance

Urasawagi / Noises Off

Urasawagi / Noises Off


Written by : Michael Frayn
Translated by : Odashima Koshi
Directed by : Shirai Akira
Set Designer : Matsui Rumi
Lighting Designer : Takami Kazuyoshi
Sound Designer : Inoue Masahiro
Costume Designer : Maeda Ayako
Hairstyling & Make-up : Sato Yuko
Assistant Director : Toyoda Megumi
Stage Manager : Yano Shinichi
Artistic Director : Kuriyama Tamiya
Produced by : New National Theatre, Tokyo

Sawada Ayako Igawa Haruka Tanimura Miki Yamazaki Miki  
Imai Tomohiko Haba Yuichi Obayashi Yohei Shirai Akira Moritsuka Bin

June / Juy
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Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun Tue Wed Thu
1:00 X X     X X    
2:00 X     X X     X X
7:00 X X X X X       X X X       X X
Doors will open 30 minutes before the opening of the performance.
Approximate running time: 2 hours, 35 minutes, with 1 intermission

  Available from Saturday 28 May, 2005 at 10:00am.
To order tickets, please call +81-3-5352-9999 (10:00am-6:00pm).
Internet ticket reservation available through the following Websites.(Japanese only)

TICKET PRICES (with tax)
Type Seat A Seat B
Price(yen) 5,250円 3,150円
Seat Z (¥1,500) / Same day student tickets (50% off) is sold only on the performance day at the Box Office and a part of Ticket Pia Offices.  

A series of events occur both at the front and behind the stage! Is this reality or a play? Shirai Akira sets theatrical traps!

handbill [Urasawagi / Noises Off]

Noises Off, a fine comedy by Michael Frayn that continues to be performed around the world, will be presented at the NNTT as Urasawagi/Noises Off, a version that is quite different from the original work. A comedy with a carefully planned structure unique to Frayn, Noises Off portrays a theatre company that performs a play entitled Nothing On and literally depicts the on-stage and back-stage action at the same time. In the forthcoming production, Shirai Akira, who directs Urasawagi/Noises Off, will appear in the role of the director of Nothing On, the play within the play, and he will work with an attractive cast of actors to highlight the carefully planned structure of the play.

Noises Off consists of three acts. Starting with Act I, which depicts a noisy farce of company members rehearsing with the first performance scheduled for the following day, the play then finds the theatre company on tour one month later in Act II and focuses on the company’s last performance two months later in Act III. Desperate yet comical efforts of the actors and production staff members as they head towards the curtain-fall of each act, while coping with events that suddenly take place on-stage and back-stage, unfold in this play.

We hope you will enjoy Urasawagi/Noises Off, which concludes the NNTT’s “Laughter” series.

With the first day of performance scheduled for the following day, actors and actresses are struggling during rehearsal because the delayed completion of the script has made it difficult to remember the stage directions. With senses dulled after working all night for several days in a row, the production staff are also partly to blame for the slow progress of the rehearsal. After midnight, the patience of the tireless director is approaching its limit. But all the company members continue to work hard and rehearse to somehow reach the first day of performance.

One month later, five minutes before the curtain rises, two actors have still not arrived backstage. The director then appears for the first time, after having stayed out of sight for many weeks. When the assistant stage manager tries to confide something to him, the director pays no attention. He is looking at a pretty, young actress. Hopelessly entangled love interests cause serious problems…

Two months later, despite it being the day of the last performance, two actresses are having a jealous row backstage, and their voices can even be heard from the audience seats. But the curtain rises as the music signaling the start of performance is played. On this day, however, the performance is destined to end differently from usual…

Staging a translated play is difficult. Translated comedies are especially difficult. Translated contemporary comedies are even more difficult.

The language barrier, including puns, jokes, metaphors and similes, and irony, prevent the audience from laughing when they are supposed to. Comedies can not be comedies unless they can make the audience laugh. So, a special knack is required in staging a translated comedy.

Turning to Urasawagi. — Michael Frayn’s Noises Off is believed to be the unsurpassed masterpiece of backstage comedies. It must be very carefully structured because it is a comedy by this playwright who is known for his carefully structured plays. What, then, about Urasawagi?

Urasawagi is a play based on Noises Off, but it exhibits its own particular characteristics.

In other words, Urasawagi is not Noises Off, if that makes it any clearer…

Since it is a backstage comedy, the director of course appears in it. And I will play the role of the director. Which means I will appear in the play, while also directing it. Naturally, other actors and actresses will have a hard time. My presence beside them on stage is a real nuisance to them. This makes it a real case of urasawagi [behind-the-scenes happenings]!

Confusion is inevitable, making a mess of the carefully structured world-class comedy. This is not the time to talk about a ‘special knack.’

This project is total chaos.
Shirai Akira, who ended up playing the role of director.

Sawada Ayako Inoue Haruka Tanimura Miki Yamazaki Miki

Imamura Tomohiko Haba Yuichi Obayashi Yohei Shirai Akira Moritsuka Bin

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