Fringe Bar, Cnr Cuba & Vivian, Wellington

01/03/2013 - 02/03/2013

NZ Fringe Festival 2013

Production Details

Local actors make Noises in the capital  

A Collection of Noises, Alice Sherwood King’s one woman play, premieres at The Fringe Bar on March 1st as part of the New Zealand Fringe Festival. Alice Sherwood King has performed twice in the national SGCNZ UOSWSF and takes on the role of a troubled girl in this psychological horror.

Writer/director Alexander Sparrow explained the inspiration for A Collection of Noises, “I love horror, absurd films and cult pictures. Grand guignol (naturalistic horror), David Lynch’s surrealist film Erasherhead, and the atmosphere of black and white films inspired me to write a play exploring the atrocities in the back of peoples’ minds.”

The set for A Collection of Noises integrates perfectly with the stage of The Fringe Bar. Sticking to a black and white design and a dream world study set, the space is perfect for the nightmarish journey crowds will experience. Alice Sherwood King says, “It’s almost impossible to find the path; but stay close enough and I may get you through.”

More about actress, Alice Sherwood King: Alice Sherwood King has acted throughout her schooling and after A Collection of Noises will work regularly in professional theatre. Sherwood King also has some dance experience. She has worked with New Zealand Youth Drama School (NYDS).

More about writer/director, Alexander Sparrow: Alexander Sparrow is a writer, director, actor and dancer. After A Collection of Noises, he will work regularly producing his own plays. Sparrow is directly involved with three shows in next year’s Fringe Festival. He is also a stand up comedian, and will perform in three shows in the 2013 New Zealand International Comedy Festival.

Venue: The Fringe Bar
Dates: March, 1, 2
Time: 7:00PM
Duration: 45mins
Prices: Full ticket $15 , Concession $10 , Addict Card $10
Tickets: http://www.eventfinder.co.nz/2013/a-collection-of-noises/wellington 

Beautifully acted, cleverly-scripted, surprisingly dark …

Review by Stewart Sowman-Lund 02nd Mar 2013

A Collection of Noises is a dark and haunting new one-woman play written and directed by comedian Alexander Sparrow, who features in both this year’s Fringe and Comedy festivals. It seems to me quite unusual that such a depressing piece of work can have come from the mind of a comedian, but that only shows how talented and versatile a writer he is. I have had no previous experience with his work, other than hearing the name before, but was interested to see what his play had to offer, having heard good things about his Stand-Up performances. 

As the synopsis says, A Collection of Noises follows Alice (played by Alice Sherwood-King) as she navigates her troubled mind. All sorts of things come up, and they plague her in her already rather disturbed life. She exists in a black and white world, which the set and costuming cleverly reflect.

It truly is a harrowing experience, both the events in the play and to be an audience member. What I find so engaging is how these two seem to mix. Us audience folk end up almost becoming a part of the story; it really is quite frightening.

It is also rather claustrophobic: the closed in world of Alice in her little black and white room. Each small segment of the story is intertwined with music taken from the 50s which add to the dark atmosphere.

Alice Sherwood-King is able to tackle all emotions with ease. Her performance is inspiring, as she fights her character’s innermost demons. Albeit a one person play, each of Alice’s problems in life seems to be a character of its own without actually appearing on stage.

Sherwood-King survives for all the 45 minutes with nothing more than perhaps a slight line mishap, which was covered without problem. Sitting in the back did mean that some of the earlier lines missed my ears, and a microphone may have been a good idea.

All in all however, A Collection of Noises is a beautifully acted, cleverly-scripted and surprisingly dark, depressing and thoughtful little play with a lavish set which reflects the content well. Perhaps it could have benefitted from a venue more suited to theatre, as the sound of police sirens and motorbikes zooming past during the climax is not perfect. However, this is not my place to question, and it does not take anything from the play itself.

As it is only open for two nights at the Fringe Bar on Cuba Street, I highly recommend you go and check it out. Take a friend with you: it is well worth it.  


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