NOISES OFF | London, Phoenix Theatre

Michael Frayn’s legendary stage comedy Noises Off (1982) has returned to the West End; to raucous laughter, terrified silence and more than a little whooping and cheering. Farce is back, with a bang!

Lindsay Posner’s all-star 40th anniversary production opened 21 September 2022 at the Theatre Royal Bath, and has been touring since. The new production whips along at breakneck speed, just as the script calls for, and if the cast aren’t slamming doors, then they’re swapping plates of sardines and chasing each other with axes. It is expertly done.

Felicity Kendal and Joseph Millson steal the show with their comedic turns as the forgetful Dotty and positively flammable Gary respectively. Kendal’s twinkle in the eye tinges on madness at times, and Millson’s pratfalls are almost too realistic (is the man okay, for heaven’s sake?)

At times, the production feels a little tired, and a longer run will surely make slick some of the more intricate farce. But, Noises Off is in safe hands here, for sure. Even if the sardines aren’t.

Playing at the Phoenix Theatre 19 January – 11 March 2023.

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