“The penultimate, particularly hectic section of The Noise Next Door’s new show Chaos Control doesn’t work at all. The longer it goes on, the less idea you have what the members of this quickfire improv troupe are trying to achieve, and it exhibits the worst traditional vice of this style of comedy in that the performers seem to be having far more fun than the audience.
Not so the rest of the show, a hodge-podge of off-the-cuff rhyming, (atrocious) dancing and all-round silliness that is often riotously enjoyable. It kicks off with these five young fellows embarking on a “mission”, its various components yelled out in turn from a very willling audience and incorporated with lightning speed into the skit. On the evening I caught them, the result was an agreably surreal adventure in which The Magic Roundabout’s Zebedee led the forces of good against Darth Vader, who was holed up in Worcester Cathedral.
Ok, maybe you had to be there. But had you been, you would have laughed a lot, as well as being treated to — among other things – a hilariously lubricious R&B love song, as well as a mini-musical that incorporated panto, folk and death-metal.
In fact, the death metal vocals sounded very and inexplicably Jamaican. Much as, when we collectively cooked up a drama in which a sausage roll was going to be crucified in the Kellogg’s factory, and four of the troupe gave the fifth punning clues as to what was going on, he came up with the still more improbable: “Are you hiding a sausage-roll that is turning into Jesus?”
The quintet win either way. When they guess correctly, or nail an impression, accent, or rhyme, the speed of thought is both impressive and funny. When they fall flat on their faces, such are the zest and all-round good humour radiating from the stage that, although less impressive, it’s funnier still. That late, scrappable section aside, this is definitely a superior kind of chaos.”
**** (Mark Monohan)