Broadway Baby – Lock-In, Edinburgh, 2013

4 Stars

The Noise Next Door: Comedy Lock-In

Improv can be the most hit and miss of comedy styles. The Noise Next Door dispel any anxieties their audience members may have before jumping into their first sketch. The quintet (Charlie, Sam, Tom, Matt and other Tom) glide onto the stage with confident energy before explaining what seems like a well worked and perfected order for the evening. With comedy friends Chris Martin and Joe Lycett as guests, The Noise Next Door romp through stand-up, comedy games and improv songs, leaving their audience in stitches.

The boys were particularly good at involving the audience, making sure that their crowd were, in part, responsible for the story behind every game, song, adventure and situation they acted out. Their game rules generated imagery involving ‘Holy houmous being created by the homeless in aid of tax evasion’ through to ‘Harry Potter and Batman managing an Afghani Zoo’. All five of the boys are quick witted and as an audience member, you got the feeling that they could have and most certainly will inject comedy and hilarity into any situation they find themselves in. The storylines they created were complemented by their ability to add physical movement to their playing. Small details such as Matt’s ability to transform himself into a homosexual Lemur and Tom’s prancing jumps as an Elizabethan dandy added the polish to the groups performances.

Adding to the evening, guest comedians Chris Martin and Joe Lycett offered snippets of their own stand-up shows. Both comedians then took part in the groups games. When it came to improv, Chris Martin appeared to be more in his element than Joe Lycett, with Lycett resorting to sarcasm to create anti-climactic points within the stories. However, every story Lycett attempted to change the direction of was promptly rescued by a member of the talented Noise Next Door group.

Not every single joke or sketch of the evening picked up immediate laughs from the audience, which in a way was refreshing, as it proved the lines and ideas that the guys were coming up with were not rehearsed.

The show was capped off by an improv serenade of a 17 year old female audience member who was brought on stage. Like most of the show, the final sketch was equal parts cringey, genius and hilarious. If you get chance to see The Noise Next Door, jump on it.