UP FOR THE CHALLENGE- GARNETT GALLANT BUILDING SET FOR ‘NOISES OFF’ – ACT will present this outrageous comedy at Florence Simmons Performance Hall in May 2023.
The set for ‘Noises Off’, by Michael Frayn, is a major part of the show. This madcap farce follows a theatre troupe trying, but not exactly succeeding, to put on a play. The audience gets to see the action on and off stage, and thus the set has to be quite versatile! The two-story construction includes eight working doors and a window… as well as multiple sets of stairs and a full balcony that will support several actors at once.
Garnett Gallant has spent a half a century with the theatre industry in a variety of roles, including touring the world with the National Ballet of Canada. Building has always been a favourite interest, and when ACT (a community theatre) asked for his help in designing and constructing the set for ‘Noises Off’ in 2019, he was glad to oblige.
The set was completed in the winter of 2020 – because this production was scheduled to take place right as the pandemic shut everything down. Now, three years later, it will finally be staged at the Florence Simmons Performance Hall at Holland College in May.
The set had to be constructed in many small pieces, and then pieced together like a puzzle. The two storey set was built one floor at a time and then was placed in storage for three years! It will have to be fully erected and tested weeks before the show to make sure it works. Therefore this set will have to be moved and built and taken down…. Twice! It won’t be until very close to opening night that all the pieces will be assembled in one place, and the finishing touches are complete. Gallant is primarily concerned with safety. He says it is important for not just the actors, but for the entire team, to feel secure on this set, which comes apart and rotates during the show. Stay tuned for tickets to go on sale!