Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Review: The Play that Goes Wrong

by Daniel Hill



The Play That Goes Wrong was created a few years ago by the comedic theatre company called Mischief Theatre. It has now been running on the West End since 2013 and in its current home since 2013. Now you can catch it on the UK tour as well as in Australia. Earlier this year it opened to rave reviews on Broadway. I return to see it again in London and it had me laughing the whole way through once again. The same company has created a spinoff play which was caught on TV last year entitled Peter Pan Goes Wrong and currently has a second show on the West End called Comedy of a Bank Robbery.

The script alone oozes with comical moments and when technical aspects are added to the play it is hard to not laugh. This comical masterpiece brings to audience together in chorus as they all laugh in harmony.

The play itself is a play within a play. We meet the cast and crew of the Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society prior to the show as they rush around in order to make sure the play is ready to open to a West End audience. As the name suggests mayhem starts from then as things start to go wrong. The play put on is a murder mystery named Murder at Havisham Manor and the script itself includes the odd reference to the murder mystery play Mousetrap which is performed in a theatre down the road from this one. The Play That Goes Wrong contains many aspects of a typical farce which suggest the writers have been inspired by other plays such as Noises Off by author Michael Frayn.

When watching a play which involves many things going wrong the question that jumps out at me almost immediately is almost obviously. What is something actually goes wrong and does this ever happen? It must be inevitable that something goes wrong as this is no different to every other play but in this instance an actor could be put in serious danger if they are standing less than a metre away from where they should. Actors must work extremely hard to make sure everything runs smoothly in every performance. This idea adds to the humorous performances given by the actors and makes them even more astounding.


It isn’t often that an audience is heard laughing in chorus the whole way through a play although this is one of those rare moments. A very funny performance from every actor and even more credit goes to the technical crew who make this performance a joy to watch and safe for all involved!


Currently running at the Duchess Theatre in London and also currently on a UK tour.

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