Farce is one of the most challenging and difficult genres of theatre to pull off successfully. This production, brilliantly directed by experienced actor and director David Sinclair, is a full blown success. It is fast, funny, physical and fabulous. Noises Off is well written, and one of the most well-known, and surely one of the most testing of all farces, and this cast and crew, under this director, nails it!
Not long into act one (the final dress rehearsal of this play within a play), it becomes apparent that trouble is emerging and things are getting sticky. Act two is the same from the backstage point of view and it is descending into chaos. Then if you thought things couldn’t get more chaotic, act three is total mayhem! But for this crew it never gets out of control. There is opportunity for over acting, but the tight direction reins that in. The chaos and confusion is superbly choreographed, timed and controlled, which allows the innate humour of the writing to burst through.
The nine member cast is all well-chosen, and of necessity, works very well together. In particular, Julie Quick as the Dowager Dame Dotty Otley is beautifully dotty, and calmly sails through the pandemonium. Robyn Brookes makes a fine dumb blonde floozie, Brad Martin is a typical insecure, neurotic drama queen, while Thomas Filsell deserves accolades for a very busy, shouty, and cleverly physical performance as Roger Trampelmaine.
We see tangled relationships, misinterpreted communications, changing affections and aspirations, delicate egos and tantrums, much coming and going through, and slamming of the no less than six doors of this very fine (and strong) set – no wobbling when the doors are slammed! Design by David Sinclair and the construction crew are to be commended.
The humour is consistently delivered in this fine production of a risky (even risqué) play. The Rep, the Director, the crew and the fine cast are all to be applauded, which the audience did with enthusiasm. It is only the audience that should have been bigger. If you want a good laugh and there are more tickets, grab some – you won’t be disappointed!
Adelaide Repertory Theatre presents
by Michael Frayn
Director David Sinclair
Venue: The Arts Theatre | 53 Angas St, Adelaide SA
Dates: 31 Aug – 9 Sept 2023
Tickets: $28 – $22