Theatre in Wales

Theatre, dance and performance reviews

Peter pulls it off....

Noises Off

Torch Theatre company , Torch Theatre, Milford Haven , October 25, 2006
Noises Off by Torch Theatre company This review first appeared in the Western Telegraph

Farce is a bit of an acquired taste. This farce about a farce is recommended viewing.

Yet again it is a case of Peter pulls it off at the Torch, as artistic director Peter Doran presents yet another class act.

There is a perception that theatre in our corner of wild Wales will be of the church hall am-dram variety, but the Torch is regularly consolidating its reputation as the place to see quality drama of all genres, from the experimental to the strictly traditional.

And there is little more solidly traditional that a farce, and Noises Off, by Michael Frayn, has all the requisite ingredients; a multitude of mix-up, a plethora of pants and plenty of pratfalls.

The action revolves around the farce-like experiences of a group of under-rehearsed actors playing a farce, in fact, a farce to be reckoned with.

It is an affectionate portrayal of this classic type of humour, which could only ever have worked thanks to the exquisite time of every cast member, every minute.

Playing at getting it wrong is infinitely more difficult that merely getting it right, but Peter Doran and this fine ensemble cast extracted every ounce of humour from the script and the situation.

The cast and it would be a sin to single out any one character, as all were sublime was aided and abetted by a terrific set which took a leading role in itself.
Criticisms are minor but there were times when there was so much going on stage, particularly in act two, that it was hard to watch everything at once, and too many of the props were anachronistic. In a production which, on the face of it, seemed set in the 70s, some of the clothes and other props were far too modern.

But for an audience that spent the evening wiping tears of mirth away in case they missed the next laugh, these minor irritations were an irrelevance.
For good, solid, British fun at its most familiar, this production is a tour de farce!

Reviewed by: Fiona Phillips

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