Reviewer: Selwyn Knight
The Public Reviews Rating:
This is the fifth year of The Noise Next Door at Edinburgh Fringe, and Bring The Noise cements their reputation as one of the most innovative and talented bands of improvisers around. Their work is so effortless and of such high quality that if it weren’t that one was there when some quite ridiculous suggestions are offered by the audience, one could be excused for thinking that the whole was carefully written, staged and choreographed in advance.
The Noise Next Door has moved beyond straightforward games to push the genre in different directions. So while songs are improvised to suit the suggestions of the audience, they push this further with slick choreography and apparently random juxtapositions of suggestions with lyrics that scan, make sense, rhyme and, most importantly, are funny. They have this year a couple of running themes. One, which runs through the show, is the dramatization of the efforts of the Chumely Amateur Dramatic Society to put on a show to help rid the village of some evil. Five performers take on ten roles at dizzying speed in memorable scenes in which the problem and the hero to solve it are discussed. In the performance this reviewer attended, Hector was suggested as the hero who was to help rid the town of an epidemic of, well, dog poo. The breadth of knowledge of the troupe is incredible as they immediately were able to recount the myth of Hector with all its supporting characters.
Having watched them several times over the last five years,they have never been flummoxed by a suggestion, rather including it pretty seamlessly into their narrative. The other running theme, which runs across all the shows this year, is the serial, reminiscent of the Saturday morning ABC Minors club, The Totally Smashing Capers of Archie Fox. This adventure serial has new improvised episodes performed at every performance, which are recorded, edited and available to watch on YouTube.
With effortless improvisation of this quality, it’s difficult to imagine why one would watch any other improvisation troupe. Go see them while tickets are still available.
Until 27th August