The Noise of Everything
The Roxy Art House, Edinburgh
Written and directed by Ben Soper, The Noise Of Everything is a post-apocalyptic tale of a high-rise dwelling couple and the visitor who turns up on their doorstep seeking sanctuary.
Soper quickly establishes his characters; Erica (Alex Kinnear) and Richard (John Smith) are well-to-do and have intentionally isolated themselves from the chaos below. This would be working fine if not for their rapidly decreasing supplies of food and wine - luckily, help arrives in the form of Spencer (Umar Ahmed). The older couple quickly finds a way to trade shelter for food, and an uneasy tension begins to take hold in the flat.
Of the three performers, Ahmed is the most natural, and seems well-suited to his part. His character, the most sympathetically written, is also where Soper's skills as a dramatist are most evident. Although Kinnear and Smith make a valiant effort with their parts, Erica and Richard are not well-drawn enough to be interesting. This may also be due in part to Soper's direction, which does not adequately alter the pace of a script that does not have much variation in pitch.
The main fault of this production is in the script, which never reveals to the audience what sort of apocalypse has taken place, or why there are bodies refusing to stay dead; whether The Noise Of Everything takes place in the zombie/horror genre or that of social responsibility, or even, as is suggested by the mention of prayers and of bodies climbing out of the ground, an apocalyptic tale in the literal sense of the word. The end is unsatisfactory, and in fact feels more like the conclusion of a first act than a full play.
Overall, this is not a piece that feels finished to a professional level, either in its source material or its final result. It would be interesting to see where Soper decides to take it next, but The Noise Of Everything requires additional development work before it reaches a state of professional quality.
Reviewer: Rachel Lynn Brody