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BWW Reviews: NOISES OFF by Repertory Philippines

Repertory Philippines' NOISES OFF timelapse

by Ginnie Faustino-Galgana

Manila, Philippines--There is something amazing about a playwright who can create a play that has an entire act in mime. There is something more amazing about a theater company who can pull off that play.

Suffice it to say, Michael Frayn's NOISES OFF as performed by Repertory Philippines (Rep) was a hoot and a half, as it was supposed to be. Expect to laugh a lot. (And this is coming from someone who is not easy to draw into laughter.)

Generally, the cast had a daunting task to perform in this play. As if playing a role isn't hard enough, they each had to play a role within a role in this play within a play. The casting presents odd pairs visually but the actors' acting chops made up for that.

Frances Makil Ignacio stood out as the Dotty Otley/Mrs. Clakett character. She was simply a natural, especially in the third act. At that point, you will catch yourself laughing with the rest of the audience.

Also notable is the drunk Selsdon Mowbray/the Burglar played by returning Rep alum Paul Holme. His drunk engaged the audience, and one simply wants to help hide the bottle of whiskey being passed around and away from him.

Carla Guevara-Laforteza was hilarious as Brooke Ashton/Vicki traipsing about the stage mostly in her underwear. Her well-timed innocent "What?" drew much laughter, as well as her sudden blinking signaling the loss of her contact lens.

One may reference the 1992 movie adaptation starring Carol Burnett, Christopher Reeve and John Ritter. Mind you, they made artistic judgements with the movie and made changes in the screenplay. As it has often been said, the live-action-almost-in-your-reach nature of a stage play is quite the experience for anyone. And this shouldn't be too hard to do since Rep makes each show affordable.

NOISES OFF is fun to watch. And this production does not disappoint.

NOISES OFF reveals both on and offstage antics of a sleep-deprived touring company of actors who are rehearsing and performing their silly sex comedy, "Nothing On." Frayn came up with the gem of an idea for NOISES OFF while he was watching one of his farces, "The Two of Us," from the wings, noting that things were even funnier offstage than on stage.

It plays at Onstage Theatre (2/F, Greenbelt 1, Paseo de Roxas corner Legazpi St., Makati City) until Sunday, April 27. For tickets (PhP 416.80 to 625.20), contact TicketWorld at (632) 891-9999 or visit

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