Theatre: Noises Off

I saw this at Nottingham Playhouse a couple of months ago now and completely forgot to write about it, even though I thought it was brilliant.

It promised to make you laugh hysterically and I couldn’t resist a challenge like that. But it did exactly as promised!

It opens to nn amateur and farsical theatre group on their final dress rehearsal on the night before their opening night. They are forgetting their lines and cues and the exasperated director is on the verge of giving up hope.

The play they are performing within the play is a farce within itself. A play of mishaps, false identities and secret affairs all going on within one house whose owners appear conveniently (or inconveniently) from abroad to find that the tax office are after them and there are strangers in their house. The comedy is the type of trousers-fall-down, running from one room to another sort of humour which is even more effective in the second act.

The second act opens with the same theatre group performing their play to an audience but this time the set is reversed, so we see what is happening behind the scenes but still hear what is going on at the front (back) of the stage too.

The actors’ ability to remember their lines for the play going on at the ‘front’ that we saw in the first half, and the drama unfolding backstage, is incredible. As the alcoholic attempts to sneak his booze on stage, a love triangle materialises that causes a huge argument and one if the actors keeps fainting due to blood, the hilarious ridiculousness of the play really does have you doubled over with laughter.

Noises Off is a classic comedy that is a must-see for anyone who gets the chance!


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