Since the play began in 2012 on the stage in the Off West End venue The Old Red Lion, The Play that Goes Wrong has gone from strength to strength and spent nine years in the West End and is currently back out on tour.
Set in the 1920s. Charles Haversham (Jonathan Harris) has been murdered in Haversham Manor on the evening of his engagement party to Florence Colleymoore (Sandra Wilkinson). However, just how dead is he! I’ve never actually seen a dead body snake across the stage before or help with the props off stage.
Trevor (Gabriel Paul) is in charge of the sound and lighting. Throw in a misplaced spotlight, music errors (Duran Duran) instead of stage music and a few extra chimes at midnight all add fantastic comedy value to the play. When he steps in as the understudy for Sandra clearly out of his depth and things onset unravel at speed.
Inspector Carter (Chris Bean) has the hazardous job of trying to work out who the murderer was whilst avoiding the trip hazards and falling scenery. Bean not only acts in the play but is responsible for costume design, box office manager, voice coach and director to name but a few of his job titles.
The play breaks through the fourth wall throughout the performance. Addressing the audience directly, encouraging laughs and applause when a member of the cast gets what appears to be unexpected laughter from the auditorium. The direct interaction enhances the comedy and enjoyment of the show.
Watching a set fall to pieces as you try to follow the storyline is not a normal Theatre experience. Although it is one I would highly recommend. Suspending your disbelief is required throughout the play
I cannot pick just one or two cast members in an outstanding role as the entire cast are superb. Each one acting badly and bumbling as their roles would require them to. Any actor that can purposely act badly deserves credit as it takes far more skill to “pull off” that part in a smooth and funny performance.
As the set falls around the cast towards the end the “good old carry on regardless ” attitude is in full swing as the cast stand firm delivering their lines. I admire the precision and timing of the cast and the crew. The risk assessment and health and safety plan would be high risk and I would not have wanted that job.
Highly recommended and a great Theatre night out after many months of darkness on our stages a good laugh and some crazy entertainment are exactly what we need. Check out the links below for further information and performance details.