Lloyd Dallas is the beleaguered director of Nothing On, and the one member of the company who seems to sense the disaster that is about to unfold. As the play progresses, he is more interested in his romantic relationships than the production’s success. As the company becomes increasingly erratic, he makes only half-hearted attempts to save his sinking ship. As is the case with many of the actors, Lloyd hints that his theatrical star may have faded. His involvement with the shabby production indicates that his professional prospects are few. Lloyd treats the entire cast and crew as if they were beneath him. He exhibits no patience with the cast’s inability to master the technical requirements of farce, namely timing their entrances and remembering their props.
Dottie Otley portrays Mrs. Clackett and is the star of the show. In addition, she is funding the production with her own money, yet this added investment does not stop her from contributing to the show’s dysfunction. Her hot-cold romantic relationship with Garry is one of the central conflicts in the company’s continual in-fighting. She quite often acts like the grande dame, but compensates for that with an excessive use of terms of endearment—a habit adopted by the rest of the company as well. Dottie also struggles with her lines and stage business and her frequent forgetfulness plagues the final rehearsal in Act One. Her character, Mrs. Clackett, is similarly befuddled when her unexpected houseguests continue to remove her plates of sardines.
Garry Lejeune portrays Roger Tramplemain and his character is a bumbling buffoon. Roger is somewhat hyperactive, and prone to jumping to conclusions. Offstage, Garry is hotheaded and jealous, especially when his relationship with the show’s star, Dottie, goes sour. Garry’s most distinctive attribute is his inarticulate speech. Throughout the play, he talks around ideas and allows sentences to trail off ambiguously without completing a coherent...
(The entire section is 815 words.)