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The laughs just keep on coming in Michael Frayn’s ingeniously constructed comedy which leaves you wondering just how the excellent cast will manage to maintain the frenetic pace – and spot on timing – throughout the run of this 1982 multi-award-winner.

From the disastrous final dress rehearsal of a fictional touring farce “Nothing On” (sabotaged by Celia Imrie’s Dotty fluffing her lines and mislaying her plate of sardines), the set revolves to reveal the calamities unfolding backstage during the same scenes at a matinee a month later.

Finally, they’re repeated, the “right” way round, on closing night - by which time just about everything is going wrong.

Trousers drop, doors jam and the pace of pandemonium rarely slackens in Lindsay Posner’s precisely orchestrated revival.

Karl Johnson’s hard-of-hearing thesp disappears in search of whisky, Jonathan Coy drives the director (Robert Glenister) to distraction fretting about motivation, Jamie Glover, his laces vindictively tied together, bunny hops up - and tumbles down - the stairs, and Janie Dee’s calm, glamorous Belinda stirs up trouble whilst pouring oil on turbulent waters. Great fun.

Old Vic
The Cut
SE1 8NB
0844 871 7628
Tube: Waterloo
Until March 10
£10-£49.50
oldvictheatre.com

- Louise Kingsley


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Noises Off - review
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