Review: Noises Off
Taken From The Kidderminster Shuttle September 23rd 2010
This was the best version I have seen of Michael Prayn’s popular play, which in the past has been disappointing.
Perhaps my enjoyment was mainly due to the brilliant cast, who all played their roles superbly.
The story is about a touring play.
The first act shows the dress rehearsal, with various things going wrong, while the second act shows the play from backstage, with a certain amount of chaos. The third act shows the last night of the run, when general mayhem takes over !
Trying to control the action was Nigel Preece as the director, who can always be relied on for a good performance.
He tries to bring order to the cast – the bumbling Frederick, portrayed to perfection by Charles Combes, Belinda, played excellently by Denise Churchett, who tries to hold things together when they are so obviously falling apart, and the glamorous but scatty Brooke, who overacts outrageously, played so well by Emily Preece (Wyer) – I wonder if she ever did find her contact lens!
Jackie Rutland gave her best performance to date as Dotty and Doug Forrester was great as Tim, the set-builder, handyman, occasional actor and front of house announcer (whether he is supposed to be or not), and there was also Peter Dawson as Seladon, who has a drink problem, and Alison Johnston as the poor continuity girl Poppy.
One of the highlights, was when another fine performance, this time by Ian Jones, was capped with a wonderful fall downstairs which was as good as any professional could achieve. He must have been black and blue by the end of the week.
This is still not my favourite play, or the funniest I have ever seen, but it was an entertaining evening out.