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The Noises - Old Red Lion Theatre

The Noises

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

TOLD entirely from the perspective of a dog (Luna), The Noises is a visceral new play about fear, courage, the nature of violence and what we’re prepared to do for the ones we love.

This new, one-woman play, longlisted for the 2017 Bruntwood Prize for Playwrighting, will receive its world premiere at The Old Red Lion. Starring Amy McAllister (Call the Midwife, Scorch), it will run from April 2 to April 20, 2019.

The Noises is a mother and daughter collaboration between TS Eliot Award shortlisted poet and playwright Jacqueline Saphra and director-dramaturg Tamar Saphra, and is a poetic and sensory piece with sound design from Tom Parkinson (I’m A Phoenix, Bitch; Super Duper Close Up).

The sound is another character in the play, and the audience hear the world as Luna hears it.

Luna is a dog. A good dog. Nemesis of the big-dick-labradoodle, expert rabbit hunter and merciless protector of the human pack. It’s a warm April night and The Noises are everywhere. Luna’s only friend, Ellie, has gone out, but Ma has locked Luna in, and she’s getting restless.

The night is stretching out and changing shape, strange smells are drifting through the closed door. Beyond the door, The Noises are getting faster and louder and Ellie hasn’t come home. What does it mean to be brave? What does it mean to be good? Confined here together in the dark, what else do we have but each other?

Jacqueline Saphra is an award-winning poet, playwright, performer, teacher and editor. The Noises marks her return to playwriting, where her writing career began with commissions from The Soho Poly and The Watford Palace Theatre and Theatre Centre among others. Her illustrated sequence of prose poems If I Lay on my Back I saw Nothing but Naked Women (Emma Press 2014) won Best Collaborative Work at the Saboteur Awards and her second full collection, All My Mad Mothers (Nine Arches Press) was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize 2017.

Talking about The Noises, she said: “Long, long ago at a time when I didn’t like dogs, my four kids convinced me we should get one. We ended up with a traumatised rescue mutt I thought I would never be able to love. How wrong I was. As she and I got acquainted, I began to wonder what terrors the world holds for an animal like her – and how she might respond in a situation of extreme human crisis. I wanted to examine the life of a family and the world outside from her point of view and see whether it might provide a mirror to our very human madness.

“Tamar often jokes that we have been long-term collaborators since she was in utero. Working on The Noises together seemed an obvious choice for us – we have a very natural, shared language which makes the creative process smooth and productive, and we’re not afraid to challenge each other.”

Every performance has fully integrated audio description for blind and visually impaired audiences.

Produced by Liam McLaughlin, The Noises will have set and costume design by Georgia De Grey and movement direction by Louise Kempton.

The Noises is suitable for ages 14+.

Tickets: £16.50 – £14.50. To book, call the box office on 0333 012 4963 or visit www.oldredliontheatre.co.uk/.

Times: Tuesday to Saturday at 7.30pm, with Saturday matinees at 3pm.

Running Time: Approximately 70 minutes (no interval).

Also at the Old Red Lion: one-woman romatic comedy In Search of Applause (February 12 to March 2, 2019).