Theatre Review – ‘Noises Off’ entertains in multiple waysThe show is hilarious
Noises Off is always described as a farce. And it is a farce but that is not what the show as done by the Driftwood Players is about. It’s about heart.
This three-act show adopts the play-within-a-play device and follows a group of British actors as they perform a fictional farce called Nothing On. We see actors playing actors playing roles.
Act One shows us the final dress rehearsal. Act Two gives us the view of the cast and crew from backstage a couple of weeks into the run. In Act Three we see the same portion of Nothing On later in the run.
The show is hilarious. You will laugh at the absurdity and improbability of Nothing On, which in its own way it is actually quite funny.
The biggest and most sustained laughs of the night, however, come during Act Two where we can see what is going on literally behind the scenes.
After Act One the entire set rotates 180 degrees. And as the guts of both the real and fictional theaters are laid bare, we see the actors at their worst.
The backstage secret is that our fictional actors are having affairs, rivalries, jealousies and more. And they are playing them out just out of view.
At various points, some the actors are menacing each other with a hatchet, attacking each other with a cactus and sabotaging costumes. At the same time other actors are disappearing in search of booze or searching for a lost contact lens.
It was funny, of course for the slapstick of it. But Act Two also showed each of the actors’ absolute commitment to their craft, despite the absurdity of the show-within-the-show and despite the insanity raging around backstage.
No matter what, the actors would hear their cues and do whatever it would take to make it on stage in time to say their lines, even if that meant going on with the wrong prop or in the wrong costume, even if it required literally dropping the hatchet.
Of course in every play, there is a show within the show. Each member of a real cast and crew has a story to tell.
At Saturday’s performance Christian Ver, playing the part of Garry/Roger was so fully into his role that he injured himself while doing a fall down the stairs, yet he was there for the matinee on Sunday.
In Noises Off it is magic to see the real Driftwood actors portray fictional actors and see that that both the real and fictional actors are one hundred percent all-in. That’s why the show is about heart.
Noises off plays though June 30 at the Wade James Theater, 950 Main Street in Edmonds on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.
Visit http://www.driftwoodplayers.com or call 425-774-9600 for more information.