Fringe Review – September 2009

The atmosphere was electric as we walked into Upstairs at Three and Ten due to upbeat music playing in the background as well as some people buzzing with excitement due to having seen the show before. The stage was a simple set up with just three chairs in an empty space and no stage lights, giving the impression of a more informal set up as well as neutral space where anything could happen.

I had no idea what to expect until The Noise Next Door troupe were introduced and surprised us all by leaping onto the stage and engaging us right from the start with their energy, cheeky smiles and vibrancy. What followed was an hour of non-stop madness, fun and pure entertainment. The feel to the evening reminded me somewhat of the improvisational show ‘Whose Line is it Anyway’ due to the interaction with the audience and the different scenarios that developed. The major difference between the show and the television programme was that The Noise Next Door has a more daring and cutting edge to them, always challenging boundaries and never stopping for breath. That’s what gives the show life.

Highlights of some of the sketches included ‘Disaster’, Improvised Songs, ‘Mission’ and ‘Forgetful Storyteller’. All relied on interaction with the audience to give them impetus to work with within the scenes, but two scenes got members of the audience up on stage to ‘help them out’. The way each actor handled the sequences was just great to watch. It was tight, slick and you couldn’t help but get involved. It was a laugh a minute all the way through, especially when they had to change characters! What made it particularly work though was their wonderful listening and communication skills – comedy is difficult enough to pull off, but put improvisation on top of it and if you don’t have the dedication, it can go horribly wrong. This did not happen here. In fact, the impression given was they were so close as a group that they were naturally in tune with each other. But the indication of how good they were, was that if something did go wrong like corpsing with laughter or getting too caught up in the moment, they would make it part of the act! That’s what makes this group stand out from the rest – pure genius!

This is definitely one hour of entertainment that is un-missable. They perform on a regular basis, so keep checking their website for further details.
*****