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Noises Off Sardine Cast Poster by MelissaFindley Noises Off Sardine Cast Poster by MelissaFindley
You may wonder why I've been quiet the last couple of months... Well, in addition to working on mostly stuff that's under NDA for the rest of forever (or so it would seem), I got cast in a play.

If you're not familiar with the play "Noises Off"... well, you really should go fix that. It's possibly one of the funniest plays ever written. But if you don't know it, you probably won't get the joke behind the poster.

At any rate, I did this poster as a gift for our director, who was amazing. Basically it's the entire cast, anthropomorphized as sardines.

Yes. Sardines.

Like I said, it's kind of an "in the play" joke.

Sardine Characters, in order of appearance (left to right)
Poppy, Selsdon, Tim, Brooke, Lloyd, Garry, Dotty, Belinda, Freddy

The costumes and props are based on our costumes and props in the play, and are fairly accurate. Each fish's physicality is based on the actor who played that character. In case you're curious, I'm the Poppy fish (Far left).
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Savvy23 Featured By Owner Sep 28, 2011
LOL!!! Love this movie!!
QevilPieSquirrel Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2011
I just got cast as Poppy this week! It's my first main stage role. :)

You did a marvelous job. Without reading the description, I knew who each character was. Being someone who has been in the production, could you give a few pointers on the character? I would love to hear some.
MelissaFindley Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2011  Professional General Artist
Don't you just LOVE Poppy. I love Poppy. She tries so damn hard, but no one listens to her. I think my favorite thing about playing her, especially in Act II, was that the director let me play her as if I were the world's most ineffective air traffic controller/orchestra conductor. I was constantly trying to cue the other characters for where they needed to be while they ignored me almost entirely.

The other fun thing about her is playing her as if she has the most debilitating stage fright ever, and the very idea of having to go on stage for anyone leaves her nearly paralyzed with fear.

The one thing I DID do with her, which I've never seen other people do, is that I made sure she does have SOME backbone. Lloyd is, in some ways, her personal god. She loves him, but is terrified of him. However, when he's finally torn down in her view, she gets her spine back a little. When she's doing her job, she's totally professional. When she's confronting Brooke, she isn't afraid to get in Brooke's face.
QevilPieSquirrel Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2011
I do love her! I had my first rehearsal today on going through parts of Act I, and because I read this post prior, I did as you said and did give her a little spine- only when dealing with other characters, seeing how she's hopelessly in love with Lloyd. I hope you don't mind me borrowing the idea! It was very subtle today and I plan to turn on some more fire into Act II.

There was also a manner of making do with the lack of lines. Because of her limited stage time and speaking parts, I find that she will be more dependent on body motion than speech. Other than being somewhat flustered, where there any other gestures or something of the sort that you found helpful?
MelissaFindley Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2011  Professional General Artist
My director had us talk about where our character's "center" was, where they lead from. Some characters tend to lead their body motions from their heads (if they're thinkers or very stubborn), or hips (sexy characters), etc. With Poppy, I decided that she holds all of her tension in her forehead and her gut (since she's pregnant) and I used a lot of gestures to protect my middle--either because she's feeling sick (in Act I) and then because she knows she's pregnant and dreading telling Lloyd (Act II). I had a clipboard for most of Act I, and I held it low, or clutched it or my prompt book whenever I was carrying it. Whenever she's vulnerable, there's sort an instinctive curling over a little bit to protect her belly.

The other thing I did was have her almost always move at a dead run. She's desperately trying to hold things together, and she's terrified of Lloyd. In Act I (and early Act II) whenever I had to be on stage, I came in full speed and mostly left full speed (except for when she leaves like a kicked puppy). It also helped to energize the other characters in the play, giving them reasons to up the stakes and move quicker. If your stage manager is frantic, you should be too!

That same frantic-ness carries over to Act II--there are moments before everything starts going crazy, when she can relax into "okay, this is going to be fine. It's all good" But luckily my director let me be slightly more involved with the goings on in Act II. I actually had a copy of the real script on stage with me, and used it to help cue people to where they needed to be (if, for instance, Dotty is supposed to be on stage, I'd snap my fingers to get her attention and get her moving. If Belinda was wandering off to chase Selsdon, same thing). I'd hand people props as they went in and out of the doors, and generally try to direct the "actors" to where they were supposed to be while at the same time making sure I didn't see any of the things I wasn't supposed to (like where Selsdon hid the whiskey), and that when I DID see things, I was reacting appropriately (Our director had Belinda cowering behind me during one of the axe-chase sequences).

Act III... relax and enjoy. :D
QevilPieSquirrel Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2011
The information you gave me was immensely helpful. It was actually rather funny that you used the kicked puppy phrase- my own director said the same exact thing about Poppy. The poor thing tries so hard, but she ends up being cheated on and treated like trash.

As for the movement, I have her moving so far at a hurried pace with short, quick steps, unless she's responsible for getting something (like finding Selsdon and Tim), in which case I do have her turning on a heel and bolting. I will remember the interaction you did in Act II and will test it out when we get there in rehearsal.

Thank you for everything! :)
Moonlit-Witch-Kitty Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2011
I got acquainted in Noises Off recently. Made me laugh! Especially when my mum unknowingly bought sardines the next day
LadyBlackmour Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2011
I am jealous of Tallahassee, because they have you. T-T I am so close, but also so far. This poster is AWESOME.
eclaire291 Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
I love Noises Off! Have you ever seen the movie? It's starring Carol Burnett and Chris Reeve. It's just as good as the actual play, which is rare for movies based on plays.

Anyway, I love this drawing. It's hilarious!
FeliciaMariah Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2011
Facebooked this and tagged all my friends who are those characters in the show haha! Great job!! I linked back to this page in the caption : ) [link]
Carles Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2010  Professional General Artist
Don't know the play, but the drawing is really cool. And it is nice to read you have been active lately (although silent).
I for one have been silent but NOT active (art-wise). Life came in the way ... :(

I hope you have been well,
Best wishes,
Cheesegoddess Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2010
Oh I forgot the sardines!!
Jericho-Ross Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2010
Like everyone who has seen the play (or movie) as soon as I saw sardines I got the joke.
EccentricElf23 Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2010
you were Poppy?? Epic win!! She's my favorite character in that play!!

My school did that... fall of freshman year and I still love it SO much!!
luvnote4u Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2010
hahaha brilliant
BittersweetRowaan Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2010
OMG!!! My college totally did this play last fall!!! :) It was hilarious.
Puddum Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh man, now I wanna see this play. I wonder if it's playing anywhere in the NYC area...

Awesome poster, by the way! The personalities really come through.
PhoenixArisen Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I so :love: this. I will check in the Dallas area so that I am in the know about the play. Great job and I just adore the expressions on the characters. :D :boogie:
openstheway Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2010
Wow, I love the "noises Off play" only seen the Micheal Cane and Christper Reeve video version would love to see it live somewhere
Rita-Ria Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2010  Professional Traditional Artist
Ginnabean Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
I ADORE NOISES OFF! My high school did it my Junior year and I think it was the best performance we ever put on. The sardine-bottoms are HILARIOUS. XDD Love it love it love itttt.
Tsakta Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2010
and god said WHERE. THE #@*$. IS TIM!?!

and there. the #@*$. was Tim
Sylistra-The-Scholar Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2010  Student Traditional Artist
Haa. Love it.

I haven't read the play, but I have seen the movie. It's one of my favorites.
a-chemical-vendetta Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2010
life is about doors and sardines.
MelissaFindley Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2010  Professional General Artist
Yes, it is.

It's very existential.
Timestitcher Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2010
LOVE, love, love that show. Thanks for sharing the artwork.
mollygoblin Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2010
Ahahaha! That is AWESOME! \o/
fantasydreamer59 Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2010
Never heard of the play but this poster is brilliant! :heart:
lafhaha Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
Oh my goodness...I love Noises Off! I'm more familiar with the movie than the play version, but of my favorites. :) Awesome poster!
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Submitted on
July 14, 2010
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