Noises Off

Date 21st November 2015
Society Saxilby Drama Circle
Venue Saxilby Village Hall
Type of Production Play
Director Pam Burnett and Mark Stoneham
Musical Director n/a
Choreographer n/a


Author: David Fisher

Noises Off is actually a farce about putting on a farce. It is full of improbable events, impeccable timing, misunderstandings and mistaken identities. It opens the dress rehearsal of a play called Nothing On, which is in effect a play within the play, with the cast struggling with their entrances and exits and getting the inumerable plates of sausages in the right place at the right time. The hour is late and the tension reveals fraught relationships between the characters.

Act 2 sees a transformation to backstage during a performance of Nothing On. This show we find out has been touring for a month and the actors difficult relationships begin to take their tool on the production. The miming that was required by all the cast as they were "backstage" was absolutely superb.

Act 3 takes place during the closing night performance and the characters relationships are now completely breaking down. There is mishap after mishap as the cast attempt to untangle the disastrous performance.

Farce is all about pace, change of pace and use of pauses and in this play's instance the way the props were moved from A to B but were always in the right place, which made all the timing impeccable. The set and lighting were first class taking into account that the play was written to be on two levels. There were no prompts and they coped exceptionally well, especially in act 2 with not having any straight lines. The directors should be incredibly pleased with the cast and the way they worked for them.

The play took place in the current day, but costumes were good. The directors obviously showed patience and dedication which helped make a first class production, shown by the tremendous applause they all received at the end of the evening. I do not intend to draw out any particular member of the cast as they were all of a first rate standard in their delivery, understanding of the lines, their interaction with each other and finally their interactions with the audience. They were not scared of pauses, another useful tool when presenting farce.

My wife and I left the theatre with others who were all buzzing as to what they had just witnessed. Well done everybody.