Michael and I went to see a good farce last night from CUADC, with a great performance from Charlotte Reid as the incredibly stupid Brooke, bravely half-naked on stage throughout. Jason Forbes was great as Gary, never quite knowing what he was going to say and with some impressive comedy falls off stage and down stairs that looked very real.
The plot of Noises Off was quite simple: opening scene is the technical rehearsal of a play early in the morning that it opens, and watching a awful cast being dragged through their lines by their director, (well played by Ben Kavanagh) who was sat in amongst the audience (us). This is the strongest scene in the production and sets everything up well for later: Scene two was an impressive back-stage view and we see the production a month in, failing dismally as the characters fight and squabble behind stage. The farce is laid on pretty thick here. When the curtain finally falls on the ‘matinée’ performance, I thought that was the end of the show, and I would have been happy to have gone home very happy. But there was a third scene that sadly dragged for me. The stage was swung round again, and we are the audience once more for the play that has now completely degenerated. Jason Forbes’ comic falls and Ella Writer’s (Belinda) disheveled hair were highlights.
We were slightly inconvenienced by Prince Edward visiting for the night. We had to keep seated while he came in and out. His is the patron of the theatre and his security was actually pretty low key, so I can only really complain that I wasn’t invited for the champagne and nibbles at the interval.
Review from The TAB
From the ADC web site:
CUADC presents, Noises Off, by Michael Frayn.
This February CUADC brings a two-week run of Michael Frayn’s classic farce to the ADC stage. Billed ‘the funniest farce ever written’ by the New York Post, this production boasts a stellar cast and crew who will ensure that you are in stitches from start to finish. Guaranteed to be one of the funniest nights you’ll ever spend at the theatre, make sure you book early to avoid disappointment!
Noises Off is an hilarious comedy following the loveable cast and crew of Nothing On as they attempt to take their show from final rehearsal to final performance. The pandemonium that goes on behind the scenes, the disasters that occur in front of the audience and the incestuous relationships that breed in between are laid bare in riotous detail to the audience.
Will Lloyd, the director, be able to balance two relationships with members of the company at once? Can practically deaf old Selsdon be kept off the bottle long enough to make his entrance? How will Frederick cope in a fight when the mention of violence gives him a nosebleed?
Come along and find the answers to all of these questions and more. With seven slamming doors, six breaking windows, three near-fatal falls, and an onslaught of mistaken entrances, cues and prop malfunctions, what could possibly go wrong?
- Ben Kavanagh, Noises Off