The Play That Goes Wrong premiered at the Duchess Theatre in September 2014, with an increase in popularity boosted by a highly effective advertising campaign.
The title doesn’t do the production justice – The Play That Goes Wrong – which narrates a memorably manic murder mystery set in the 1920s. The Play That Goes Wrong is guaranteed to put a smile on your face, with a gag-after-gag mentality perfectly performed by members of the Mischief Theatre, mirroring as The Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society. The production follows the charmingly chaotic cast as the stage transforms from being fully set to rubble ruins, with one cast member even branding it a ‘deathtrap.’ Awarded Best New Comedy by whatsonstage.com shortly after its release, The Play That Goes Wrong is the epitome of modern theatre.
The production technically started before all audience members were seated with improvisation initiating the hunt for a lost dog, primarily engaging an accompanying school group. The crowd proceeded to cheer on the cast throughout, omitting a rather pantomime-esque appeal. In this respect, I assume every performance is different. The dashing Director opened the show with a somewhat unintentional stand up routine, which wasn’t laugh-out-loud funny but smirk-worthy nonetheless. The Play That Goes Wrong hardly seems scripted, with a witty combination of naff special effects that ensures audience members are instantly hooked.
Every character is as clumsy as the next, with a memorable performance by Charlie Russell as the flirtatious Miss Collymore, who frequently launches into a hysterical fit that entails shaking her hands and swirling her hips seductively. Mr Cecil Haversham is well-played by David Hearn, straight-laced and smartly dressed, who amusingly breaks character by frequently acknowledging the audience with a broad grin. The sturdy two-tier set is impressively multifunctional, with two behind-the-scene cast members working hard to mimic the illusion to chaos. Each act is perfectly complimented by mackintosh-style ceiling lights, which draws the audience’s attention to the timid technician perched on a specially constructed stairwell overlooking the set.
The play-within-a-play must have seen an estimated 300 guests attend the viewing on January 14, 2015 at 1930hrs. The Duchess Theatre is an intimate venue located opposite such long-running shows as Mamma Mia at the Novello Theatre and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Theatre Royal on Drury Lane. Peter Pan Goes Wrong is a similar spin-off of the successful West End production, currently touring to July 2015. Additionally, Lights, Camera, Improvise sees exclusive performances on March 2, 2015, and April 7, 2015, where cast members from The Play That Goes Wrong construct a wholly improvised production based on audience suggestions.
To book call 0844 482 9672 or reserve seats online at www.tickets.nimaxtheatres.com. The Play That Goes Wrong is currently booking to September 2015. Discounted rates are available for groups of 6+, 10+ and 25+ with prices for school groups of 8+ from £17.50. For more information visit www.theplaythatgoeswrong.com