Michael Frayn’s rollicking British comedy about a live theatre company’s preparations for an upcoming show, Noises Off, is the finale production for the Langham Court Theatre season. It runs June 5 to 22. (David Lowes photo)

REVIEW: If you like farce, you’ll love Noises Off at Langham Court!

By Sheila Martindale

The nine cast members in Langham Court Theatre’s new show Noises Off deserve an A for effort!

For almost three exhausting hours they charge in and out of the eight doors on stage, creating muddles and mayhem, to the roars of approval from an enthusiastic opening night audience. When the show finishes on June 22, they will no doubt collapse with total exhaustion.

Jan Streader as the long-suffering housekeeper, and Andrew Weitzel as a young man conducting a clandestine affair are both outstanding comedians, and Jeff Kerrie takes the gold star for being able to jump up and downstairs with his trousers around his ankles. (Yes, it is that kind of play!)

Tess Kotchonoski plays an airheaded bimbo with authenticity, her voice so squeaky as to be almost incomprehensible. A newcomer to Victoria, Tess Weins appears as Poppy, doing a very competent job, and Kristin Pickup is marvelous as the gal who makes the best of a hilariously bad situation. Jon Hunwick and Toshik Bukowiecki are strong minor characters, and Alan Penty does a loud and efficient job as the director of this play-within-a-play.

The entire cast handles the complicated dialogue without missing a beat, at the same time as dashing around the rooms and up and downstairs without any false moves.

Playwright Michael Frayne has done a fabulous job of sending up the theatre with all its problems and difficulties, and though social behaviour has changed somewhat since Noises Off was first produced in 1982, the play in no way feels dated. The plot (if you can call it that!) revolves around a play being rehearsed and performed, with everything going wrong, and we see the action from the point of view of the audience and also as if we were backstage. There are three scenes, all about the same thing, all from different perspectives – very clever. If I had had my editor’s pen handy at the time the play was written, I would have shortened it by about an hour, as by 11 p.m. the audience was feeling as wrung out as the players.

A tip of the hat to Chris Clarke and Sally Crickman for an amazingly functional set that works from both back and the front, and to Jason King for the clever background sound, which is part of what makes Noises Off so funny. Congratulations to all the stage management people for efficient handling of scene changes, and special kudos to Don Keith, for the masterly direction of this whole mess!

If you like farce, you will love this one. Call 250-384-2142 for tickets or learn more at langhamtheatre.ca

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ocie Elliott: Facing the Music

Victoria duo describes effects of COVID crisis

YOUR AUGUST HOROSCOPE: It’s Leo Season!

Georgia Nicols giving us insight on what lies ahead this summer

30 years later, Sue Medley’s hit ‘Dangerous Times’ more relevant than ever

Vancouver Island singer/songwriter reflects on her ’90s national hit

Psychological thriller filmed on northern Vancouver Island debuts on AppleTV

‘Woodland’ is set in Haida Gwaii, but was filmed around Port McNeill

Symphony Splash goes virtual, revisits 2018 performance

Organizers postpone live event until Aug. 1, 2021

Island pub wants people to ‘drop five’ to keep music alive

Royston’s Charlie Aiken thinks his plan can help artists and venues alike

First Arts Alive sculptures of 2020 now installed

Oak Bay’s annual public art exhibition starts anew

Nanaimo fantasy writer co-authoring Old Norse phrase book

Joshua Gillingham partnering with author and professor on ‘Old Norse for Modern Times’

Cowichan’s 39 Days of July deemed a success, despite COVID-19

Musical productions live streamed from the Duncan Showroom this year

Gabriola’s Isle of the Arts Festival goes ‘mini’ on 10th anniversary

Gabriola Arts Council presents scaled-down, workshop-only IOTA Mini festival

Sooke Fine Arts Show reaches new audiences with virtual showcase

Voting for People’s Choice Award open until Aug. 3

Mural artists announced for Nanaimo’s inaugural Hub City Walls festival

Local artists Kara Dee Harrison, Russell Morland and Austin Weflen to paint downtown walls

Nanaimo musician Glen Foster releases new music video

‘Brains Brawn and Beauty’ is the latest single from Foster’s album ‘Not Far Away’

Most Read