There’s nothing to get you in the Christmas spirit quite like an evening of good festive entertainment, and The Noise Next Door’s appearance at Komedia last week was exactly that. The venue’s main room was made up with tinsel and decorations, with punters huddled around intimate cabaret seating eating and drinking. Christmas songs played in the background. It was like walking into the world’s biggest and happiest sitting room on Christmas Eve.

Then on stage came the Christmas-jumper-clad improv team The Noise Next Door made up of comedians, Tom Livingstone, Sam Pacelli and Charlie Granville. The trio radiated enthusiasm and positive energy, immediately beginning to hand out mince pies to the crowd and springing straight into their first stint. The group operate by improvising scenes and songs based on shout-outs from the audience. Naturally the first scene of the night covered all the bases for an absurd Brighton comedy night: Donald Trump, sex toys and the C word – no, not Christmas.

The show was interspersed by short sets by Simon Fielder and Adam Kay respectively, who then went on to join The Noise Next Door in their improv scenes. Fielder offered bitingly cynical stand-up on the holiday season, reflecting on his new found love of gin and tonic; it’s an amazing creation he claims because “you get to stay skinny and still get really, really… sad.” Kay meanwhile treated us to a series of parody songs played on the keyboard, the stand out track being ‘All I Want For Christmas Is Cash.”

The Noise Next Door’s use of improvisational techniques was extremely fresh and commendable. One scene had an audience member on an IPad supplying bizarre sound effects, while another saw one of the comedians’ lines restricted to the words of a text message conversation of another willing participant. The latter was especially hilarious due to the sheer ridiculousness of poor Phil’s conversations with his friend. The slipperiness between comedy-makers and comedy-watchers was perhaps what made the evening so intensely humble and heart-warming.

The murder mystery game the team performed was another particularly funny stunt. Somewhat reminiscent of Whose Line Is It Anyway’s? ‘Party Quirks’, the game cast Pacelli as the detective who must figure out the who, where, when and why of the murder the other characters hinted at on stage. The hints themselves were hilarious, relying largely upon obscure puns that were unintelligible to Pacelli but fantastic to the rest of us.

All in all, The Noise Next Door offered an exceptionally clever, creative and hilarious evening; the most downright fun show I’ve attended in a long time.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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Georgia Grace

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