Noises off (Der nackte Wahnsinn)

By Michael Frayn
German translation by Ursula Lyn
Bertolt-Brecht-Platz 1
10117 Berlin
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It is the night before the opening. The dress rehearsal of "Noises Off" is in full swing. Nothing works; the actors don't know their lines and the plates of sardines are always in the wrong place. The director is on the verge of a nervous breakdown, the production manager hasn't slept for days. And the same question arises again and again: Can we and do we even want to do the play like this? After all, it's from the 80s! Author Michael Frayn drives the familiar theatre equation of "a meeting of people in hardships" to its extreme. It is the struggle for order, the need to carry on and stick to routines, staying in character as long as possible – in the theatre just as in life: “The opening is tomorrow, we only had two weeks of rehearsals, we have no idea what to do, but let's be honest, who does?

OLIVER REESE has been Berliner Ensemble's artistic director since 2017 and stages his own productions, too. The most recent works include the German premiere of Marius von Mayenburg's "Ellen Babić", an evening of Brecht-songs entitled "Fremder als der Mond" and Thomas Bernhard's "Der Theatermacher".