Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Review: Noises Off

By • Jan 23rd, 2006 • Category: Reviews

Listen to our review of 2nd Flight Production’s performance of Noises Off [MP3 5:17 4.8MB].

Laura: We’re talking about 2nd Flight Production‘s performance of Noises Off performed at the Cramer Center in Manassa, Virginia.

Mike: Noises Off is a comedy farce. It is a play within a play. The innermost play is called Nothing On. And the Nothing On script has something to do with evading taxes and moving to Spain and there’s lots of plates of sardines and mistaken identities. The outer play, the one you’re actually going to go see, is called Noises Off. Noises Off is the story of all the actors who make up this play Nothing On. It’s also got the director and the stage crew guy and the producer who’s running around doing what she needs to do to get the show on stage. You start out with three acts. The first act is the final dress rehearsal before they perform before a live audience. The second act is a performance. The last act is another performance. And, unfortunately, the people are really getting sick of each other by the third act which is several months on the road and things go down hill.

Laura: It was a really good show. Physical comedy and some of the actors really got into it.

Mike: They really got into it.

Laura: In going to the Cramer Center I’m always impressed with the staging the actors do with the set. The first act you saw the living room of the house.

Mike: that the inner play was performed. The stage area that the play inside the play. The stage for that.

Laura: The second act was the play going on and you saw all of the backstage stuff. The actors and actresses coming in and out of their cues and stuff and this is when things started going down hill. They had been traveling together for a while and were getting kind of sick of each other. The third act was the front set again with them doing a performance and it was just kind of a meltdown.

Mike: They really pulled it together well. The initial act was pretty realistic of people still getting to know each other. You could feel the director’s frustration with them of not knowing their lines or their cues or what they carry off the stage. One of the characters, Dotty Otley, was self financing the play within the play and that’s why she was even on the stage. She was one of the ones who couldn’t remember her lines or her cues or anything. The director is pulling out his hair on her. But it came together.

Laura: It came together really well. One of the characters thot I thought was good was Natalie Safley. She played Belinda Blair and then in the play within the play she played Flavia Brent. I thought she did a really good job. She showed a lot of emotions. She also participated in the physical comedy at one point keeping her hands on one of the other characters when they were in a wrestling match backstage. She did a really good job of staying in character.

Mike: She was very emotive. You could see a face of fear and then, “Oh, no, the person is drinking again .” She told some gossip and then got people tallking about and then she was surprised when she learned some new piece of gossip. She did a really good job with that. I really liked the person playing her husband in the inner play. It was Rick Ingavo who played Frederick Fellowes, who played Phillip Brent. He had fun with his part because his part was the one to say, “So why am I doing this? I don’t know why I would carry this across the room.” Just trying to get really deep with the part and the director having to say, “Because that’s the way it was written.” He did a really good job with that. He was one of the actors who really got into it and seemed to hit his head pretty good on one of the support beams. They got through it. It was pretty good afternoon of laughter. I mean there were some parts were chuckles and some parts where it was pretty hearty slapstick laughter.

Laura: The third act took place in kind of an upstairs and downstairs and the railing to one of the bedrooms upstairs was a break away railing, although I’m not sure, I think it did a little more breaking away than they intended it to do because one of the actresses got her head whacked.

Mike: With pieces of wood.

Laura: When the railing fell on them. But I thought it was a good show.

Mike: It was a good show. The 2nd Flight put on a really enjoyable show. It’s playing through next Sunday afternoon in Manassas. So I would say go ahead, let’s go to it. You could take kids to this, maybe not real young. There was slapstick and they’ll laugh. They won’t understand it all, but seeing people running around in their underwear getting hit upside the head with a plate of sardines things like that. They’ll laugh and have a good time. I think you’ll have a good time, too. So go see 2nd Flight’s production of Noises Off.

Laura: And now, on with the show.

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started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.

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