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By Dave Massey twitter.com/BrumHour
This production includes strong language and workplace bullying.
Review: Noises Off at Birmingham Rep
“A funny retro comedy” ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Directed by Lindsay Posner and written by Michael Frayn
Told in three acts, Noises Off is a classic farce about actors putting on a play. Simon Shepherd plays Lloyd a well-meaning theatre director who doesn’t understand work relationship boundaries with Nikhita Lesler and Daniel Rainford as his hapless production team of Poppy and Tim.
Playing the company of actors are Liza Goddard as Dotty, Dan Fredenburgh as Garry, Lucy Robinson as Belinda, Simon Coates as Frederick and Lisa Ambalavanar as Brooke. Rounding off the cast is the adorable Matthew Kelly as Selsdon.
Noises Off was first performed in the 1980s but has a very 1970s feel to it, you could almost imagine the cast of Are You Being Served? or ‘Allo ‘Allo playing these roles.
The three acts represent a final rehearsal a performance in the middle of the tour and a very late performance at the final tour stop. We see these from different perspectives throughout and the humour is increasingly layered as the story goes on.
In some respects it is quite niche in featuring actors and performing but the universal themes of love, lust, envy, career goals and jealousy soon rear their head.
We see the large set from different sides as our view changes and it is great to see some “inner workings” of the theatre industry.
Obviously, the award for scene-stealer goes to Matthew Kelly but Dan Fredenburgh and Lisa Goddard get my honourable mentions too.
I really enjoyed the humour of this production as it built throughout, though there were a few younger people in the audience, I’d say this isn’t really suitable for anyone under the age of ten or eleven.
A funny retro comedy, Noises Off is at Birmingham Rep until Saturday 9th September 2023. Discover what is coming up at Birmingham Rep here: birmingham-rep.co.uk/whats-on.