Visit London Blog » celia imrie Enjoy the very best of London Thu, 28 Aug 2014 11:51:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Your Views: Noises Off at The Old Vic Wed, 11 Jan 2012 15:31:46 +0000 Noises Off is a play within a play that follows the misfortunes of an amateur theatre company as they rehearse and then perform an awful sex comedy called Nothing On.  Noises Off, starring Celia Imrie, is now firmly into its run at The Old Vic. So what did you think of this famous farce?

“Great cast and excellent production, however slightly let down by not being able to hear occasional lines of dialogue. I love farce and did enjoy it, but judging by the very receptive audience, not quite as much as everyone else!”
Tom Butler, Camberwell

“Noises off is pure farce and I loved every second of it. As the characters and story developed, it got funnier and funnier and by the time the cactus worked its magic on Robert Glenister, I was crying with laughter along with the majority of the audience. If you like silly comedy performed perfectly by talented actors, you’ll love this.”
Lettice, South London

“The audience around me loved this energetic farce, but I found myself only mildly entertained. The cast had great comic timing and made this physically demanding role look spontaneous and easy. However, Noises Off was just too repetitive and slapstick for me. Not my cup of tea (or plate of sardines in this case).”
Jenny, South London

“I was sceptical about Noises Off but was pleasantly surprised. Traditional farce – slamming doors and clothing malfunctions galore - sends shivers down my spine. But despite an abundance of both these elements, there was a constant stream of giggles with a few big laughs thrown in. A masterclass in precision comic timing, Celia Imrie was a joy to watch.”
Jo, London

“Act one of the play seems pretty farcical, but compared to the third act, it’s straight-laced. I found myself laughing more and more as the show went on, the plot is completely ridiculous but you have to be lacking a funny bone not to get into the swing of it. The cast are great, particularly Celia Imrie and overall it’s a very well-polished performance.”
Laura, Camberwell

“Noises Off is a slapstick farce, where comedy moments include characters’ trousers falling down and their shoelaces being tied together. Despite being slightly dated in its humour, the show made for an entertaining evening. It was well-acted and I found parts of it reasonably amusing, while loud guffaws indicated that other audience members found it hilarious. Many people love this show and see it again and again. If you’re a fan if slapstick comedy, you’ll probably love it too.”
Hannah, North London

“Fantastic! The all-star cast delighted the audience with a fast-paced and sharp, laugh-a-minute adaptation. Will definitely be recommending Noises Off to friends!”
Lisa Taylor, Bermondsey

“I really enjoyed Noises Off, I haven’t laughed that much in ages, I thought the play was very original and if you are suffering the January blues, it’s a real pick me up!”
Kirsty, South London

Noises Off at The Old Vic until 25 February 2012. Book tickets

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Hay Fever at The Rose Theatre, Kingston Fri, 01 Oct 2010 14:45:56 +0000 Noel Coward’s play Hay Fever was written in just three days; with much of the material taken from his experience of staying with the loopy Manners family. At the time (1924) great actress and singer Marie Tempest refused the leading role of Judith Bliss. But once Coward wrote a few more plays and revues and became the hottest playwright in the West End, Tempest unsurprisingly changed her mind about taking the part.

Ever since, Hay Fever has been coveted by the most fabulous of older actresses, including Edith Evans and Judi Dench. The Rose Theatre is lucky to have not one but two established actresses taking on the role, Celia Imrie (whom I saw) takes the first half of the run, and Nichola McAuliffe the second.

This comic Coward at his very best. However the play’s success also depends on the chemistry and innuendo created on stage by the cast. Hay Fever is a farce set in an English country house in the 1920s. We are introduced to the four eccentric members of the Bliss family and watch the hysterical consequences as each invites a guest to stay for the weekend.

The Rose Theatre has a contemporary feel with a simple stage that allows it to be transformed for each production. Hay Fever’s set was beautifully ornate with a real attention to detail, similar in fact to Coward’s Waiting for Wings that I saw a few weeks ago.

Celia Imrie commands the stage and seems to relish the experience of being Judith Bliss. Hay Fever’s younger roles are taken on by Georgia Maguire and Joshua McGuire (both recent drama school graduates) playing the two bratty Bliss children, chasing each other around the stage and being deliciously unaware of their conceited selfish behaviour. I enjoyed watching the interaction between mother and children, especially how Judith acts with her younger, more beautiful daughter, flitting between pride and jealousy.

This play is right up my street, I enjoyed it so much I was still laughing in the intervals… I even forgot about my dreadful cold. The Bliss family are utterly dysfunctional, but work in their own way. I think there is something here for everyone to identity with. I certainly thought the mad melodramatic ensemble on stage were really quite similar to my own rowdy, Bohemian family!

Hay fever continues until Saturday 23 October.

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Thursday Theatre News: Steph Fearon, Robert Lindsay and Christmas at the Rose Thu, 10 Jun 2010 17:33:22 +0000 Have you been missing the girls from Over The Rainbow since Andrew Lloyd Webber’s search to find a lead for his new production of The Wizard of Oz finished?

Well, news about semi-finalist Steph Fearon bounced into my inbox this week. Fearon will be starring in a summer revival of Smokey Joe’s Café at the brilliant Landor Theatre, one of South London’s best pub theatres from 13 July. Smokey Joe’s Café showcases the musical of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller who wrote On Broadway, Jailhouse Rock and Stand By Me: plenty for the lovely Steph to get her winning vocal cords around!

From newbies to oldies: My Family star Robert Lindsay is coming back to the West End later in the year. He’ll play Aristotle Onassis in Onassis, Martin Sherman’s play about the last five years in the life of the Greek shipping magnate, focussing on his relationships with Jackie Kennedy, Maria Callas and his son Alexandros. The show, which is a transfer from Chichester, opens in London on 12 October (previews from 30 September). I think Robert Lindsay’s great. He’s won two Laurence Olivier Awards, and his other stage credits include Oliver!, Me And My Girl and Richard III.

And there’s news of another favorite Olivier Award winner coming to London in the autumn. The ever-wonderful Celia Imrie will play in Noel Coward’s classic comedy of bad manners, Hay Fever, directed by Stephen Unwin at the Rose Theatre from 23 September to 23 October.

Finally, if you’re already bored of the World Cup and starting to think about Christmas(!), there’s news of the Rose Theatre’s Christmas show. The Three Musketeers will be the Rose’s first musical, running from 27 November to 2 January. It’ll  feature music by George Stiles and lyrics by Paul Leigh, with a good dose of royal intrigue and sensational swordplay into the mix!

And the National are teasing us with their Christmas news: Catherine Tate is to star in a revival of Alan Ayckbourn’s Season’s Greetings this December… but they don’t have the exact dates finalised yet…

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