Theatre Review: Noises Off is a hot mess in the best possible way (Performances in Melbourne until August 12th)

If you feel like your current workout regime is just not doing it for you anymore, and you need a little something extra, a little bit of inspiration to get that summer body back on track, might I suggest a night out at the theatre. Noises Off is quite literally the funniest show you will ever see, and will definitely give you a nice set of chiselled abs at the end of it. After you see this, you’ll be popping on your bikini (or your Speedos) and getting #InstaReady for summer!

This show is a hot mess! But a hot mess in the best way possible! There really is no point to it, let’s be honest; it’s about the rehearsals of a show in a show. It’s very realistic in its nature and humour but in a way, extremely absurdist in it’s aim. Let me just say this though, I have never been more impressed by an ensemble of actors who make a frantic storyline like this have some structure and sense to it. All nine of them are so in sync with each other’s rhythm and energy, this really does become a masterclass in comedic acting. Each stand out in their own right, and without the utter commitment to each other, the farce would be completely lost.

Director Sam Strong has done an impeccable job at ensuring this farcical play retains its authenticity and heart. This is after all a modern day classic. In amongst the chaos of scene changes, door choreography, sardine plates and pants dropping, Strong has managed to fine the intricacies within playwright Michael Frayn‘s words, as well as the structural perfection whereby all components – be it the actors, the interruptions or the props – work hand in hand with each other.

“Directing such a classic comedy is a blessing and a curse. It’s a delight to let loose an ensemble of fabulous comedic talents on this material. It’s also incredibly rigorous work to achieve the necessary precision,” Strong said.

The play is completely dysfunctional but as the story unfolds, you realise everything has a time and purpose. As you watch ‘Nothing On’, you can’t help but relate to the archetypes of these characters in some way. This is the clever intelligence of Frayn and his ability to outwardly project human behaviour whether they be moments where you shine or sink to the lowest of lows.

Photos by Stephen Henry.

Noises Off is showing at the Arts Centre Melbourne Playhouse until August 12th. As soon as word gets out, tickets to this show are going to be snatched up. Head here for more info.

The reviewer attended the show on opening night, Wednesday July 12th.