Anyone who can remember the 60s and 70s will be familiar with the Brian Rix Farces, complete productions of confusion, unfortunate situations and lots of trouser dropping and pretty girls running around in skimpy clothing…. and all in the best possible taste.
Noises Off by Michael Frayn is a homage to the likes of Brian Rix. Essentially it’s a farce about theatre company who are putting on a farce, “Nothing On” – confused? Don’t worry that’s just the start! The thing is which is funnier, the production they are putting on or the back stage antics?
I must confess that Noises Off is one of my favourite pieces of theatre and the Mercury Theatre, Colchester’s production did not disappointment me in their rendition.
A fine cast that includes several well known faces from the tv screen: Louise Jameson (who I remember, like many a teenage boy, as Dr Who’s glamourous assistant) as the hapless housekeeper Dotty Otley (Dotty by name and nature…. don’t mention sardines!).
Peter Ellis is great fun as the company drunken thespian, Sarah Jayne Dunn provides the glamour as the slightly dim Brooke the love interest of most of the male company.
There’s lots of energetic running around, superb comic timing and laughs aplenty.
We see the story from both sides, as the audience of “Nothing On” and also the backstage action and finally the culmination of how the backstage chaos spills in front of the scenery and onto the stage with disastrous results.
Enjoyable fun…. I loved it …. I’m sure you will too …. farce at it’s finest.
Mark Keable, Ipswich24 Magazine
Colchester Museum until 16th May
Box office 01206 573948