In the pet stakes no animal comes remotely close to dogs; man’s best friend has become a fully-fledged member of the family. No longer bred for a purely functional purpose, dogs have assimilated human characteristics and a unique personality. This heavily socialised world of a canine is explored in The Noises, a story that concentrates on a dog called Luna, played by Lucy McAllister.
Luna’s been a very naughty dog and is now locked in what appears to be the spare room with just her bed cushion for company. Annoyingly, she can hear the noises; the muffled sounds of her family arguing, fighting and loving each other. Luna’s frustration is further compounded by the thought of exclusion, of not being able to protect her ma and pa; but, most of all, denied the affection of her Ellie girl, the human baby in the family. Luna’s frustration turns to panic as Ellie leaves for the evening.
The Noises is a highly original piece of theatre but one that relies heavily on the charm and versatility of Amy McAllister to keep the story ticking over. There are some genuinely laugh out loud moments where Amy proves to be a brilliant mimic, perfectly capturing the learned behaviour of dogs in a human environment. However, for all the script’s articulacy it does feel slightly repetitive. Luna’s constant references to ‘my Ellie girl’ become particularly grating. Of course, we imagine a dog’s thought processes to be limited and any resulting speech would be similarly clipped. Even so, this becomes tiresome in the context of a script that needs to carry a clear narrative. The issue is further exacerbated by the length of the play; ninety minutes is far too long for a one act monologue with its limited plot options. This would have made an excellent 60 minute play, it just stretches a great idea a little too far; bit of a dog’s life I guess?
Written By: Jaqueline Saphra
Directed By: Tamar Saphra
Produced By: Liam MacLaughlin
Box Office: 0333 012 4963
Booking Link: https://www.oldredliontheatre.co.uk/the-noises.html
Booking Until: 20th April 2019