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David Porter » Reviews » Alarms and Excursions

Alarms and Excursions

RoughCast Theatre at The Cut, Halesworth

Review published in the Eastern Daily Press, 26 May 2008

Alarms and Excursions

You know that impotent feeling you get when the tyranny of gadgets takes over? When life’s absurdities, embarrassments and unbelievably stupid annoyances engulf you?

Well, gthat’s the observational comedy running through Alarms and Excursions, a series of miniplays/sketches that sent local group RoughCast into new comedic territory.

Old friends round for a meal – the new-fangled bottle opener fails, the smoke alarm has a life of its own and a drawer overflows with instructions of every appliance they’ve owned. Order descends into anarchy with the speed of farce.

Three people listen to a fatuous, pompous speech trying to balance files, diaries and wine glasses, while trying to clap and raise a toast simultaneously.

A pair fail to comunicate through the noise at a party, with mishearings worthy of a Two Ronnies sketch.

A woman makes a speech while the autocue operative takes revenge on her. The madnesses caused by answerphone messages and confusions. The safety messages that precede an air flight.

We’ve all been to some, or all, of  these chaotic, patience-sapping moments in modern life. Michael Frayn’s writing captures them perfectly and a lively, multi-role cast did them justice, embracing the challenges of humour with open arms.

This group is one to watch, as the variety and range of their work continues to develop in our region.

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