After the crushing disappointment of watching Southend United crash out of the play-offs the night before, what I really needed was one of London's myriad comedies to lift my mood of despondency. Robert Holman's three short plays linked by a theme of war was probably the worst possible choice at the wrong time. The plays are acted with great sensitivity but the dialogue ranges from poignant to trite. Next up at the Donmar is another obscure title that I am sure few will have heard of and I am not convinced it will continue as a must-visit theatre with such unexciting programming. - David Baxter
18 May 12
Oh, what has happened to the Donmar? A dreary production with long pauses between lines, delivered by unmoving (in both senses) actors. The gratuitous, unfulfilled nudity in the first play is ridiculous. The wooden delivery by the naval officer in the second is tedious. The repetitive swearing by the squaddie in the third just offensive, only leavened by Sara Kesselman's rather moving performance. Boring. Don't go, if you want to be entertained. Grim. - M. Taylor
12 May 12
Making Noise Quietly gets a gentle loving production from Peter Gill and the three playlets are finely acted. Again the problem is the material, Robert Holman’s 27-year old piece, now apparently an ‘A’ level text! Loosely connected by the second world war and the Falklands war, I didn’t really find them satisfying, particularly the last (title) play which I found unbelievable; I just couldn’t buy in to the characters and situation. Not the Donmar at its best. - Gareth James
02 May 12
Hmm, I actually liked the last play the best. The first play I'd give 3 stars for it's well-delineated characters, but there is no real dynamic beyond small talk, involving the subtle seduction, of an open-minded farmhand, against the backdrop of war. The second play seems a 2 star sub par rerun of a poem Kipling wrote about how it's best not to tell the relations the truth about their war dead. Again, there is no real dynamic going on. The third and last 4 star play worked best for me, as three traumatised characters allow their trauma to usefully play upon each other. At least here there is genuine tension and drama, there is a lovely but sweary performance from Ben Batt, and it proves touching seeing a trumatised little boy come out of his shell. - steveatplays
30 Apr 12
I'd give this 4 stars, only because of the strength of the opening play, and the outstanding performance from Matthew Tennyson which contributes to this.
Echoing Michael in his review, this seems an oddly regressive choice of programming from the Donmar, seeming, but for the first of the three, irrelevant in its stereotypical exploration of war. In this first, Holman displays his simple genius in the exchange of words between the two men. This, with Peter Gill's empathetic direction, makes this a both touching and resonating rendition. - StageMap
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