REVIEW: Noises Off – King’s Theatre, Glasgow

no_tour_400x600-for-website

Farce seems to be making something of a comeback, starting with the worldwide success of One Man Two Guv’nors – and now, following its successful revival at the Old Vic, Michael Frayn’s 1983 play Noises Off has arrived in Glasgow on its national tour.

The show follows the antics of a touring theatre company, from chaotic rehearsals to a shambolic matinee and finishing with a disastrous performance in Stockton-on-Tees.

The production flashes between the company’s ill-fated play Nothing On and the manic backstage shenanigans. It contains all the classic elements of farce: people running around in their underwear, men dropping their trousers, actors forgetting their lines, characters who miss their cues and doors opening and slamming shut all over the place.

no_tour_9shot_400x400

The success of this show rests in the hands of its cast – and boy is this a cast: familiar face Neil Pearson is the demented director Lloyd, grappling with the band of misfits he has to call a cast as well as with Brooke (Thomasin Rand) and Poppy (Danielle Flett) the young starlet and besotted stage manager who he’s having affairs with; Maureen Beattie turns in a fine comic turn as the literally dotty Dotty, who, not to be out-done is having an affair with much younger leading man Garry (an astonishing masterclass of physical comedy from David Bark-Jones). Chris Larkin and Sasha Waddell perfectly encapsulate that particular type of middle-class stage luvvie and Geoffrey Freshwater as doddery old thesp Selsdon Mowbray and Simon Bubb as put-upon Tim round out a stellar cast.

The first act takes a while to warm up but it is the necessary build up to the chaos that follows. The second and third acts are a masterclass in comic acting – eliciting genuine bellows of laughter from the audience.

If it’s belly-laughs you’re after then there’s no better place to get them than here – genuine five star fun.