Anyone who read my review of One Man Two Guvnors will know I am not a massive fan of farce but I liked that play despite myself.
Noises Off at the Old Vic came highly recommended (otherwise I wouldn't have gone) and I did laugh like a drain at times.
It is also a technically superb production from all sides. Extra credit must go to all round amazing cast whose timing, co-ordination and, well, memory for all of that on top of the lines was breathtaking.
I am, however, leading up to a but which is that for all its skill and the clever structure - a play about a play that is performed under three different circumstances - it is still a farce with all the elements of that genre that start to grate on me after a while. For instance there are only so many times a plate of sardines is funny before it just gets annoying.
I can certainly recommend Noises Off if you like farce and even if you don't there is plenty to admire and enjoy - I particularly liked the opening rehearsal act which I'm sure has more than a heaped teaspoon of truth in it. It is going to get a star knocked off though for the moments of irritation - it's a personal thing but there we go - so it scores four out of five.
Noises Off runs at the Old Vic until March 10.
PS Noises Off does get one extra accolade for possibly having the best value programme the Old Vic has ever produced but only because you get two for the price of one as the play within the play gets it's own programme too.
Not a direct link but Robert Glenister who plays the director Lloyd Dallas was in the TV series An Appropriate Adult which starred Dominic West who, of course, has worked with Mr W in The Hour.