• Theatre Review: The Play that Goes Wrong @BGETheatre @playgoeswrong

    Jul 14th • Posted in Film and theatre, Reviews

    Review of The Play that Goes Wrong

    Before the curtain was raised on The Play That Goes Wrong, director of the Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society, Chris Bean, welcomes us to the production of The Murder at Haversham Manor. He admits that their previous productions (James and the Peach, Ugly and the Beast) have been less than stellar due to a lack of interest in the drama society. Now all that changes. They finally have enough members to do justice to this play. So what can go wrong?

    A lot apparently! This is quite literally a play that goes wrong, very wrong. Before the play even started their lighting and sound manager Trevor was sent to scour the theatre for their lost dog Winston, and a member of the crowd was roped into helping fix a mantle piece with masking tape!

    A Right Mess!

    When the curtain was finally raised the audience was meant to be greeted with the murdered body of Charles Haversham, but the actor unfortunately missed his cue, which led to him hurriedly crawling on stage to play dead on a chaise long. When the rest of the cast was due to come on stage the set door refused to open, leaving them to continue as if they were already in the room. Our poor ‘dead’ Charles Haversham endured horrendous punishment by the cast (he was sat on, walked on, and had his fingers trampled) before eventually being dragged off stage.

    Think of any horrendously embarrassing incident that could happen to a cast member while acting in a play. It all happens in The Play that Goes Wrong, and it’s bloody hilarious. Lines were forgotten, characters entered in the wrong places, and the actors were knocked out by fellow cast members (repeatedly). This is basically what would happen if Basil Fawlty directed a play.

    The magic of The Play that Goes Wrong was in the details. On the surface this type of comedy might seem easy to pull off but it requires a delicate sense of timing and it was pulled off perfectly. It’s because things happen at just the right time that makes it so funny, and that takes a talented cast. It’s much harder to pretend to act badly  to evoke humor than it is to actually act badly.

    Bygone Humor

    We don’t see slapstick comedy like this much anymore. That’s such a pity because from the time the curtain went up to the time it went down I never stopped laughing. I struggled to breathe more than once! Mischief Theatre and The Play that Goes Wrong evoked memories of long ended, but long loved shows like Fawlty Towers, Mr Bean, and combines them with the wit of shows like One Foot in The Grave and Keeping up Appearances.

    If you get a chance to see this God awful play please don’t pass it up. It made for a terribly funny night out that I’ll never forget!

    The Play that Goes Wrong is currently on a tour of the UK and Ireland but if you miss it and are ever in London you can catch it in the Dutchess Theatre.

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    Theater review: The Play that Goes Wrong
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    Theatre Review: The Play that Goes Wrong @BGETheatre @playgoeswrong

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