Walking into the space at Brisbane Arts Theatre, you are automatically transported to a world where the theatre is a highly regarded art form, no matter what the status. Noises Off was a concept that was so very well suited to the space.
Not knowing the show, I was very intrigued by the idea of the play, to show the other side of the production, the backstage tracks and shenanigans (a part of the theatre the actors know far too well!) As the show started up, I was immediately impressed by the set. It was simple, yet gave an impression of complexity. Small details that were purely used for dressing was a lovely touch. As the show progressed, Act 2 held a plethora of stimulation revealing the behind the scenes look at the set, including panel references and some small inside jokes from the cast within the play. As well as those finer set details, the performance progressed in comedy, giving many laughs and nods from the industry folk in the audience, so much so my partner turned to me and said “does this really happen” to which I burst out laughing at the realisation of, yes, yes it does! As Act 3 started up, the laughs kept coming and were non-stop. Anyone who has been in a train wreck of a show, could relate to the mess that occurs when people are not where they are meant to be or drop their lines.
Overall, the pace of the whole show was good. It is a show that must steadily progress as each act becomes more hectic. This was accomplished on a grand level, however Acts 2 and 3, whilst having strong starts and growth, ended perhaps too frantic, leading the audience to feel slightly uneasy, not knowing where to look or what to take in.
Special mention must go to Victoria Costa, whose character was so well defined all the way down to different British accents between her character and her character’s character. Costa was captivating and never missed a beat through the show. The rest of the cast were also incredibly on the ball and are all extremely talented performers, pulling off wonderful accents and superb comic timing.
Well done to director Alex Lanham, a true triumph.