Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Noises Off"

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note: entire contents copyright 2008 by Larry Stark

"Nothing On"

by Robin Housemonger
Directed by Lloyd Dallas

Scenic Design by Gina Boxhall
Lighting Design by Rod Wray
Costume Design by Patsy Hemming
General Manager E.E.A. Gradshaw
Assistant Stage Manager Poppy Norton-Taylor
Company & Stage Manager Tim Allgood

Mrs. Clackett............Dotty Otley
Roger Tramplemain......Garry LeJeune
Vicki..................Brooke Ashton
Philip Brent......Frederick Fellowes
Flavia Brent...........Belinda Blair
Burglar...............Seldon Mowbray
Sheikh............Frederick Fellowes

Frankly, I'm not sure What I saw last night. I thought I went to the Footlight Club to see Michael Frayn's "Noises off"; but maybe that's because I want to buy a copy of Frayn's new book THE HUMAN TOUCH as soon as I can raise the money. Because the program I found beside my keypad sez I saw the "World Premiere, Prior to [the] National Tour" of Robin Housemonger's "Nothing On" --- a British sex-farce I expect had its inception an Brighton Pier. When the show finally started I was actually at their Final Dress, which the director Lloyd Dallas (Stephen Peters) kept interrupting to give notes or correct errors --- with irrelevant banter revealing the cast's Many short-comings and peccadilloes that perhaps a less observant critic would not descry. Then there may ahve been an intermission, or perhaps I'm remembering a whole fantasy (or dream while sleeping?) of BACKstage goings-on, sexual passions, mayhem or near-mayhem, dumb-show assignations and handky-pankies and nearly murderous misundestandings. But that couldn't be really part of the show, because in the third act (No plays have THREE Acts anymore, do they?) I found myself at The Footlight Club seeing that First Act again as it might have been done by a crew of tired, nerve-raw actors who hate each other around which every possible technical possibility breaks down around them. If I saw what I think I saw the whole thing deserved a leap-to-my-feet Standing O. But, this morning I found a program for "Noises Off" next to my key-pad, and I seem to remember some featured performer darkly mumbling of his Itralyan background and his Uncle Vinnie's concrete boots in my size and how I never review anything he does and demanding that, even if there's one damn bleepin' performance I had damnwell better Have A review Up this morning Or Else. And that's about the point I discovered ther was a pint of Johnny Walker Red shoved in my coat-pocket and eighty dollars in dirty, wrinkled bills stuffed in my pants. So I wrote this. Maybe you should contact The Footlight Club and get tickets, and when you see the show e-mail ME whatever the hell you saw, okay? Because, if they don't have a sell-out crowd for their final performance, this genuinely Standing-O cast may make that threat of Uncle Vinnie's concrete booties comde seriously true. (Sorry about the typo's.) Now I think maybe a little sleep will stop the throbbing of my headache.


"Nothing On" (15 -22 January)
Weston-super-Mare, Lunnon, ENGLAND

Oh, the less-funny pages of that program say:

"Noises Off"

Book by Michael Frayn
Directed by Thomas Martin

Set Design by Steve Orr
Lighting Design by Arti Leger
Costume Design by Pauline Hsu
Props Mistress Liz Bean
Sound Design by Daniel Borque, Jason Sheehan, Steven Swift
Assistant Stage Manager Eva Zitta
Stage Manager Gabi Logan

Dotti........Barbara Douglass
Brooke.......Courtney Bennett
Belinda.........Janelle Mills
Lloyd..........Stephen Peters
Poppy.........Molly Kimmering
Gary..............Greg Maraio
Freddie........Evan Bernstein
Selsden.........Paul Campbell

"Noises Off" (19 September - 4 October)
Eliot Hall, 7A Eliot Street, JAMAICA PLAIN MA

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide