MPTF 2014 Theatre

Citizen Reviews: Noises Off

A scene from "Noises Off " by The Company Theatre  

Complete melodrama

Utterly hilarious yet profound; chaotic, but incredible; mundane yet novel – this is how one can describe Noises Off, mother of all play-within-play comedies ever written. It definitely rendered a visual banquet as well as an evening of wholesome laughter right from the beginning to the end. At no point were the noises actually ‘off’, rather, noises and voices predominated the scenes. The ‘rehearsal’ performed initially was only a precursor to the humour that was to follow. The laborious role of a director came in for entertainment as well as contemplation. ‘Behind the screen activities’ which ensued, was capable of evoking laughter from even the toughest soul. The finale was no less worthy than its forerunners, rather, more enthusing. The chaos and ruckus created during the course of staging a sex comedy due to inopportune dialogue delivery, misplacement of properties, and intrusion of prompters made an interesting, fun-filled plot. The incredible cast did a wonderful job proving that each one of them harbours a prodigy within. The play was indeed a great success inviting thunderous applauses at the end of the day. Hats off to the brains and hands behind this nonpareil venture!

Anita Jose

‘Krupa’,Vakayil Road

Maradu

Alchemy unplugged

Vision, innovation and quality is how one could define Noises Off by The Company Theatre, Mumbai. To give birth to an idea embodying the spirit of all this, combining acting versatility with rip-roaring humour and amazingly effective use of props lifted the play to a higher plane. Hats off to The Hindu MetroPlus Theatre Fest 2014 for bringing the play to Kochi.

The brilliance in executing onstage and backstage drama using basically the same props inverted was well thought out. The individual antics of each actor, oblivious to the rest of the cast on stage is worth a mention. . One would need to watch this couple of times over to do full justice to the performance. The search for the contact lens, the nose bleeder with a hanky trailing from his nostrils, the partially deaf burglar’s untimely entries through the window, the proverbial axe taking turns in various hands, were all comic timing at its best. The housekeeper with the phone and the sardines, assisted by the director, the closing and opening of doors, all provided continuity to the jolly chaos. The relationships onstage hardly bore any resemblance to the interpersonal relationships of the cast backstage. The underlying vein of murderous intent among them behind the scenes only amplified the entertainment quotient. The final attempt at improvisation by some of the cast to salvage the play added to the merry confusion. The unsurpassed talent deserved a standing ovation.

Paul Mathew

G-11, Girinagar, Kadavanthra, Kochi

The best medicine

There were abdominal cramps, there were tears. But no one was complaining. For it was an evening to laugh uproariously, helplessly, at the antics of the motley crew of ‘Nothing On’ on the stage. The Company Theatre had its gloves off in delivering the knockout comedy punch in Noises Off. The endless laughs may have masked the incredible effort of staging a play within a play, with a lovable bunch of losers seemingly muffing their lines. Hats off to The Hindu MetroPlus Theatre Fest for this play to Kochi!

Resmi Kaimal

'Ushus', Thottakkatukara, Aluva

Acting farce

Playwright Michael Frayn thought that the setting of a play was ‘funnier from behind than in front’ and hence he wrote a ‘farce from behind’. Noises Off by The Company Theatre, Mumbai, was indeed a farce that spoke of absurdities and foibles of actors during rehearsals and actual staging of a sex comedy. Somewhere it is realistic, portraying the egos of characters and their failings, on the other hand it is meant to be pure fun.

The temperamental director Lloyd, the nose bleeding Philip, the overacting bimbo Brooke, all packed into this two hour hilarious comedy backed by fine, spontaneous acting and essentials of stage craft. Yuki as Brooke and Jim Sarbh as Philip deserve special mention for their involvement in their roles, without going overboard. In the climax, the play used the essentials of slapstick, which was toned down. Tangled phone wires, scattered sardines, fast entrance and exits were all executed with accurate timing. It is one of the toughest farces to pull off, as it calls for getting right the comic timing.

B. Karthik

VNRA 30, Navatha,

Vennala

'Noises Off'

The crew were busy setting up the stage as we entered the hall, only to know later that the show had already begun. Well, Noises Off from The Company Theatre is a play-within-a-play wherein every single act on stage, which otherwise would be considered as a background work, was a part of the play, and everyone including the guy who fixes the backdrop was an actor.

Yuki Ellias, who played the role of Brooke, put up a commendable show and so did her lover Garry (Tariq Vasudev). Dotty, played by Kiyomi Mehta, enters the stage on multiple occasions with cooked sardines and is a reason to add more chaos to the situation. Philip enacted by Jim Sarbh was so inquisitive and his lover Belinda (Shruti Vyas) so charismatic on stage. Selsdon, the burglar (Sagar Deshmukh), appears always inebriated and clueless about his objective. The director finds himself in an embarrassing situation when the whole team finds out his secret love with Poppy (Sayani Gupte), the support girl.

Sardines fly around, the actors get entwined by telephone cable and there is a total mess. Noises Off was worth every 120 minutes of it. Kudos to the director, cast and crew. And thanks to the The Hindu MetroPlus Theatre Fest for this play.

Ancheri Sreekumar

“Sreeancheri”

Elamana Road, Tripunithura

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