Masters of improv offer Crawley dates at the double

The Noise Next Door will hit Crawley with a double helping of their remarkable improv skills on Saturday, July 17 in the venue’s amphitheatre.

The Noise Next Door
The Noise Next Door

At 3pm, they will be offering Run Wild!, their family show – a chance for the audience to take control in a comedy show where anything can happen in an hour of songs, scenes and gags all based on what the audience want to see.

And then at 7pm, again in the amphitheatre, it’s The Noise Next Door: Out and About!, a chance to laugh the night away in the great outdoors, again all at the audience’s suggestions.

Tom Livingstone, from the company, stresses the afternoon will be rudeness free while the evening might be rather cheekier depending on what the audience wants.

And yes, it’s easy enough for the performers to adapt: “If you talk about it, it makes it sound far more difficult than it is, but really it is just like meeting a bunch of people and knowing how to talk to them. Obviously, if you are meeting a mixed bunch of people, a family bunch, it will be rather different.”

They certainly bring to it plenty of experience, 13 years in fact: “Or I think it is 13 years. We have done the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 13 times and of course last year, that didn’t happen. But the Edinburgh Fringe Festival was certainly pretty much the first thing we did.”

They all met at the University of Kent in Canterbury and three of the originals remain. The Canterbury connection remains 100 per cent, however. Their more recent recruit was also at the University of Kent in Canterbury, just a few years later.

The company is based in Brighton: “We were in Shoreham for a year because it was a bit cheaper than Brighton and then we moved to Brighton Brighton is just great. It has got such a buzz and so much happening, and it is just a stone’s throw from London.”

The core of what the company does has remained a constant: “We just wanted to be a comedy company that gives the audience a really fun time. We have never wanted to make a point or make some comment about what we think about the world. It is just about giving the audience the best possible time. Some comedians just speak so much about what they think of the world that it just becomes really stressful for the audience. We are not like that at all!”

With their reliance on audience suggestion, inevitably they found the first lockdown the toughest when the four of them couldn’t even be together let alone be together in front of a live audience. But once the four of them could actually assemble in person, they managed to find a way to make their comedy work online.

Now Tom is wondering just how much of that online world will continue once things do open up.

“There are certainly administrative benefits to all sitting in your living room, but you just can’t get the magic you can get with a live audience which is why we are doing it, and that is the big difference.”