Tag Archives: Georgia de Grey

The Noises

The Noises
★★★★

Old Red Lion Theatre

The Noises

The Noises

Old Red Lion Theatre

Reviewed – 4th April 2019

★★★★

 

“delves into an abstracted perspective on very human issues, and is likely to be different from anything you have seen before”

 

The first thing you will notice about The Noises – a new play brought to The Old Red Lion Theatre by mother-daughter duo Jacqueline Saphra (writer) and Tamar Saphra (director) – is its main character, a dog named Luna. Shut inside a room by her owners her odd, defamiliarised speech is fascinating and hilarious; she calls sex “rump and grunty” and her owners “ma”, “pa” and “my Ellie girl”. She details all those strange things we know dogs do, from re-devouring a partially thrown up chicken (described in delightfully gruesome detail) to hiding one of every pair of shoes owned by various members of the house. Then there is her physicality, designed by movement director Louise Kempton and executed with impressive economical precision by Amy McAllister. The slight vibration of McAllister’s legs and bottom to suggest a wagging tail, the whine in her voice as she demands things from her owner, and an occasional growl are all particularly reminiscent to us dog owners of our own pets. Luna never delves too far into an animal reenactment – she doesn’t shuffle around on all fours as a child might – but there is just enough there to show us that she is not human.

The production begins with an audio description of the set, and special mention must be made to audio description and access consultants Jenni Elbourne and Amelia Cavallo for their work to make the show accessible for the visually impaired. The audio description itself adds to the show and experience, because so much of the play centres around Tom Parkinson’s sound design. Whilst the set is a single “room” with worn lino floor, a cracked ceiling and a single door stage-let, ‘The Noises’ themselves give a sense of the wider world beyond the door. At first these noises are familiar to Luna – a family argument, footsteps, a car outside – but as the play progresses they grow into something more frightening, until eventually they invade the set and even split the ceiling apart!

Thus we move from an amusing depiction of the inner workings of a dog’s mind to a deeper exploration of courage, fear and what it means to be ‘good’. Luna’s connection with the audience, looking us directly in the eye as she teaches us and tells her stories, means we find ourselves reconsidering our own outlooks. This play may revolve around a dog’s perspective, but it delves into an abstracted perspective on very human issues, and is likely to be different from anything you have seen before.

 

Reviewed by Katy Owen

Photography by Ali Wright

 


The Noises

Old Red Lion Theatre until 20th April

 

Last ten shows reviewed at this venue:
Hear me Howl | ★★★★ | September 2018
That Girl | ★★★ | September 2018
Hedgehogs & Porcupines | ★★★ | October 2018
Phantasmagorical | ★★★ | October 2018
The Agency | ★★ | October 2018
Indebted to Chance | ★★★★ | November 2018
Voices From Home | ★★★½ | November 2018
Anomaly | ★★★★ | January 2019
In Search Of Applause | ★★ | February 2019
Circa | ★★★★ | March 2019

 

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If We Got Some More Cocaine I Could Show You How I Love You – 5 Stars

Cocaine

If We Got Some More Cocaine I Could Show You How I Love You

The Vaults

Reviewed – 25th February 2018

★★★★★

“I’ve rarely come across seventy minutes of theatre which is as simultaneously heart-warming and heart-wrenching”

 

John O’Donovan’s award winning ‘If We Got Some More Cocaine I Could Show You How I Love You’ is a masterpiece. On a rooftop in rural West Ireland, the lovable rogue Mikey (Andy Mahon) and the charismatic romantic Casey (Josh Williams) hide from the police. Their crimes are late night robberies on a nearby petrol station and then on Casey’s home, but O’Donovan’s extraordinary script forces you to instantly forgive them.

As the play progresses, it becomes apparent that it is not just the police that have surrounded and trapped the young men. Crazy ex-boyfriends, abusive step fathers and the drain of the recession have prevented them from being able to fully commit to each other for a long time. With no option but to stay where they are, Mahon and Williams treat the audience to a tennis match of witty, reminiscent dialogue as Casey and Mikey take us through their childhood wins and losses. Whether hearing about Mikey’s growing, but perhaps unwarranted reputation as a thug or Casey being plucked from his old life and whisked off to Ireland with his spiteful, violent step father, your heart cannot help but break for the struggles these two have faced.

Proudly working their way through their stolen goods (highlights include whisky, cocaine and two different sorts of M&Ms), the couple indulge in each other’s company in what seems to be a rare moment of truthful isolation between them. Indeed, even when the police cars leave the scene the boys stay put. This begs the question: is the rooftop a prison cell or a sanctuary? With one desperately clinging to the inside of the closet and the other beaming at the mere thought of showing off his new partner, the boys are proof that opposites attract. One thing they have in common, however, is their need to feel wanted. As they physically cling to the chimney, they emotionally cling to each other; and it is this that forces you to will them lifelong happiness.

Mahon and Williams deliver O’Donovan’s triumph with dignity, dexterity and determination. Georgia de Grey’s set wouldn’t be out of place in a West End theatre and Thomas Martin’s direction is ingeniously detailed. I’ve rarely come across seventy minutes of theatre which is as simultaneously heart-warming and heart-wrenching and I urge you to see it. Whether the two are trapped on the roof or hiding in their safe place, it’s clear that there is much more than just honour between these two thieves – there is love.

 

Reviewed by Sydney Austin

Photography by Keith Dixon

 

Cocaine

If We Got Some More Cocaine I Could Show You How I Love You

Vaults Theatre

 

 

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