2015 Olivier Award Winner for Best New Comedy
2015 BroadwayWorld UK Winner for Best New Play
2014 WhatsOnStage Award Winner for Best New Comedy
The Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society are putting on a 1920s murder mystery, but as the title suggests, everything that can go wrong… does! The accident-prone thespians battle against all odds to make it through to their final curtain call, with hilarious consequences!
Given 5 stars from The Daily Mail, called a ‘Gut-busting hit’ by the New York Times and with celebrity endorsements from the likes of Ant and Dec ‘funniest show we’ve seen! If you can get a ticket go.’
THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG is guaranteed to leave you aching with laughter!
The aptly named “Mischief Theatre” Company have a lot to answer for when it comes to their latest touring production “The Play That Goes Wrong“. I am honestly not entirely sure what I can say to sum up the experience adequately (which is unlike me!) but I shall attempt to share with you the remaining crumbs of the nutty pie unapologetically spilt down my lap as I sat so innocently in my seat last night.
Kenny Wax Ltd and Stage Presence Ltd present an absolutely seamless (and slightly ridiculous) show, the likes of which I can truthfully say I have never seen before. The play is a play within a play, cleverly introduced by a “behind the scenes” warm up skit involving “Trevor” (Gabriel Paul) and “Annie” (Catherine Dryden) as the insanely disorganised, unlucky and accident prone crew. I loved the audience participation – the unwitting chap they dragged onto the stage couldn’t have looked more uncomfortable if he had been asked to tap dance in the nude while playing Frere Jacques on the panpipes. The scene is then set for the “actual” show itself (“Murder At Haversham Manor“) introduced by the hapless (and somewhat hopeless) optimist “Chris Bean” who promises an evening of theatrical entertainment unlike any other…He definitely got that bit right.
The cast were outstandingly powerful as a whole, with exquisite comedic timing – I genuinely winced in pain at every “bang”, “crash” and “wallop”. Having had my moments on stage and behind the scenes over the years it was utter car crash entertainment watching the stage malfunctions and understudy cock ups. Perkins (Dennis Tyde) had me howling at his pronunciation issues, and I still cannot understand how Sandra Wilkinson has any unbruised skin left on her body after her window scene! There was abundant slapstick precision throughout, and just as gags reached their ridiculous climax the cast somehow managed to push them that one step further into the abyss. It was also quite a first for me to find a corpse (Jonathan Harris as Charles Haversham) quite so comically endearing – who knew being dead could be so hilarious!
The evening was a big old glug of everything that’s right with decent theatre, and I tip my proverbial hat to the amount of hard work it must have taken to prepare to get it quite so entirely wrong. I love that so many risks were taken with physicality and pushing the set to its absolute limit, especially in light of the amount of prep and clearing up each show must require on tour!
An explosive production with so much going for it that I would happily watch it all over again. Think: Fawlty Towers meets Acorn Antiques with a splash of first year at Uni Drama and Performance (cringe), and you might begin to understand what on earth I witnessed last night.