'Noises Off', a review.

16 October 2019

Tickets to this show were given to me in exchange for a review.
This in no way affects my opinion of the production.

I thoroughly enjoyed the madness of ‘Noises Off’, the most spectacular witty farce, at the Garrick Theatre last week. 

I knew next to nothing about it, going in. But sometimes I like to do that when I’m seeing a show; I’ll only watch a quick trailer or check out the company’s social media accounts before I collect my tickets and strap in on the night. I had heard that this play was a revival of sorts; it’s a classic comedy by Michael Frayn which has transferred to the Garrick after a fabulous run at the Lyric Hammersmith.  

Now, for the plot – or is it a plot within a plot? Well, it’s a play within a play… 




Following the cast of the disastrous flop Nothing On, this beloved favourite is a series of muck-ups and mishaps – both on and off stage – as the show goes through rehearsals to performance. 
(Source: London Theatres)

Honestly, this show was exhausting to watch at times. Not in a bad way, though! It was just so knackering watching each actor (in the play within the play…) try and nail their parts and meet each cue for the semi-captive audience – with all the arguments, boozing and on-off romances happening behind the scenes! 


Source: From the Box Office

Obviously, with all the tension, unsaid things – and maybe too-loudly-said things – the (quite frankly, dreadful) play Nothing On starts to fall apart. As an audience (the real audience), we got to see a rehearsal in the first act (‘the technical, not the dress’) with the actors calling ‘LINE!’ and props being dropped and the director exasperatedly shouting at his hapless cast from the stalls; after the interval, we saw a proper behind-the-scenes glimpse of the production on tour, with the tech staff (who were also very reluctant stand-ins) running around after the cast, some of whom were bickering while the others tried to keep peace and hold the show together. 

After this, there’s a quick change of scenery behind the curtains, and we’re back in the audience position, looking up at the set, witnessing the final show on the tour – the absolute car crash. 


Source: From the Box Office

I have no idea how any actor could have kept up with the pacing and the chaos of this play; Frayn pulls no punches (and there are a few punches, plus slaps) with the amount of physical comedy in the script, and the enormous character personalities. 

But then, this isn’t just any old cast. This production of ‘Noises Off’ stars Meera Syal (The Kumars), Daniel Rigby (One Man, Two Guvnors), Sarah Hadland (Miranda), Lloyd Owen (The York Realist) and Simon Rouse (The Full Monty). 


Source: From the Box Office

This production was a good laugh, which my friend and I definitely needed on that dreary Monday evening. 

Now for the most important part of any review: who did I fancy most? This one’s easy. The a**hole director. That swagger, the womanising, the knit turtle neck? Delightful.

Source: From the Box Office

Fancy seeing this farce before the end of its run? Get in there quick! You have until the 4th of January 2020, and you can get the best ticket prices at From the Box Office!


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