A sci-conspiracy thriller which simultaneously bombards the characters and the audience with not the one noise but a multitude of relentless noises. Made all the more effective as there is no interval.
In their latest strand of work, check that anchors science at the centre of its theatrical plots, illness Unlimited Theatre explores the physical, emotional and psychological effects of sound on human beings. The Noise is penned by Clare Duffy, Jon Spooner and Chris Thorpe.
A boxy stage of dull, wooden planks with sloping sides creates the island of Whitley. A large geometric hanging frame, lit with cold blue lights, juts out to the side of the stage and represents the arrival of a huge iceberg; an iceberg that is to play a part in unveiling a long hidden conspiracy.
The cast of five seamlessly creates the feeling of a small, isolated community where residents are noticeably tense and irritable.
Rachel Gay carries the enthusiasm of 17- year old Charlie well throughout the play. She perfectly portrays the ambition of a young girl determined to find the source of the noise, whilst all those around her are content to drink away the day in the pub and be driven half-mad by the noise.
The only other inhabitant to share her curiosity is her friend and scientist Harry. This scruffy, happy chap is wonderfully played by Jerry Killick who effortlessly transforms himself to take on another role as well. Killick is almost unrecognisable when he switches to represent the smart, aggressive undercover agent who has a tendency to point a gun at anyone who ticks him off.
The production would not be the same without the music which absorbs the audience into a world where your ears are assaulted with an unpredictable rang of noises. Ranging from metallic crashing, eerie whistling to short lived rhythmic thumping notes. Credit to the collaboration with electronic musician Minotaur Shock and UK sound designer Gareth Fry.
The show will continue on after its premiere at The Northern Stage, Newcastle.