The Noise Next Door: Masters of Magical Improvisation

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Feb. 2, 2017, 12:21 p.m.

Jonathan Lovett has written about London's fantastic art scene for the last 20 years! He is delighted to writing about culture in Enfield. Looking into the magic and spontaneity improvised theatre can create ahead of The Noise Next Door's performance 14 May.

Why is theatre superior to film?

Well, for me, it’s because every performance is unique. While film has benefitted from hours of editing and glossy pre-production to get the result looking just ‘right’, theatre is raw and immediate with no two performances the same, so sometimes the results look far from polished perfection...which is where the magic can happen.

And in the unpredictable world of improvised theatre there is the potential for a lot of magic, as well as disaster, which makes it one of the most difficult of art forms to pull off. For every inspired episode of Whose Line is it Anyway? there are a hundred bad improvisation shows that fall flat...which ensures the forthcoming appearance of The Noise Next Door is something to cherish.

One of the country’s best improvisation troupes performs hilarious shows stuffed full of memorable characters night in and night out which is some feat considering that night in and out they start with absolutely nothing; no plot and no characters because that’s up to the audience to decide. Through the most random of devices – shouting out suggestions – that day’s audience dictates what the quick-thinking-quartet will be performing meaning this is entertainment at its most spontaneous, exciting and downright risky.

Personally I can think of nothing worse than standing up in front of folk without knowing exactly what I am going to say and respect is due to Matt Grant, Charles Granville, Tom Livingstone and Sam Pacelli who specialise in this seat-of-your-pants style theatre.

Besides requiring considerable individual talents, great camaraderie and chemistry is key to such an enterprise and over the years the foursome have built up a virtual collective brain to instinctively know what the other ones are going to say or respond to be able to come in at exactly the right moment and receive the baton.

Anyone fortunate enough to have seen them on tour or at the Edinburgh Festival over the past decade can testify to the depths of their talents while those still unsure should just spend a few minutes with them on YouTube before booking tickets at The Dugdale.

In a double-whammy the clamorous comedians will be performing two shows in Enfield on Sunday, May 14. The first is a family friendly version at 2.30pm called The Noise Next Door’s Really, Really Good Afternoon Show, while the evening edition at 7pm is a trademark uproarious experience called Uproar!

Of course, having no idea what they’re going to perform, this could be the day when it all goes terribly wrong and I receive angry letters asking for your money back so you can go to the cinema instead. But somehow I doubt it.

Book your tickets to join the fun!

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