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Brian Lonsdale in Noises Off

The enduringly popular Noises Off returned to Newcastle this month, where it will be performed at the Northern Stage Theatre until May 28th.

For Winterson’s actor, Brian Lonsdale, who plays comedy stage manager Tim Allgood in the award winning show, it’s an opportunity to return to his North East roots:

“This is the first time I’ve been back since The Pitmen Painters played in Newcastle,” Lonsdale told the Northern Echo in an interview earlier this month. “I didn’t know the play before I started doing it and I’ve got to say that is it ridiculously funny and brilliantly set up. It’s no surprise that this play keeps on going and people keep wanting to do it. It’s just funny. This is there to make us laugh and you’re not asked to think deeply about anything. You know what kind of production you’re in because you get that instant reaction from the audience like nothing else I’ve ever done.”

The 1982 farce gloriously features the final 24 hours to a performance of a play called Nothing On, and despite the laughter it’s ‘play within a play’ set-up means it has to be a particularly disciplined endeavour for the actors involved, Lonsdale said:

“My role isn’t of an actor in the other play, but I can tell you that the others have struggled because the play messes with your head. There are three acts and in every act the play within a play is different, so the actors playing two actors have to learn it three times to get their cues right. But it’s still fun.”

It’s great to see Brian back on home turf and we wish him well in the Newcastle run of what is undoubtedly an enduringly popular show amongst audiences throughout the UK. The show transfers to the Nuffield, Southampton on Wednesday 1st June.