Alarms and Excursions
Michael Frayn’s Alarms & Excursions is collection of plays, varying in length and content, but all with an underlying humorous look at modern life, changing times, and everyday annoyances and irritating habits.
This well written observational comedy points out, amongst other things, how we buy advanced pieces of technology which we don’t understand; our attitudes towards holidays, hotel rooms and fellow holiday makers; and how, when we were living in a world dependent on landline phones, getting hold of each other could prove difficult and the simplest of meetings could spiral into the most complicated of missions!
The staging was simple but effective; each scene set adequately with a blue/purple colour scheme running throughout and not too many props/unnecessary distractions from the storylines and characters. This allowed swift transitions from 1 story to the next and gave the whole production a fluency which was needed to make the 8 plays feel as 1.
All different characters in each story were played by 4 actors: Aden Gillett, Belinda Lang, Serena Evans and Robert Daws, each giving great and varied comic performances throughout - there wasn’t a character in each and every scene that didn’t raise a chuckle from the audience. My favourite being Robert Daws as a German traveller called Dietrich in the final play - his interpretation and timing was perfect and greatly appreciated by the audience with laughter!
Alarms & Excursions is a light-hearted and enjoyable play, however I would say that its target audience is adults and many of the storylines were aimed more solidly at the older and more experienced generation… if you can’t really remember a time before mobile phones, this isn’t overly relevant to you.
- Claire Farley