The Play That Goes Wrong UK Tour Review

The Play That Goes Wrong UK Tour Cast

Katie Bernstein (Annie), Jason Callender (Jonathan), Natasha Culley (Sandra*), Edward Howells (Dennis), Edward Judge (Robert), Alastair Kirton (Max), Graeme Rooney (Trevor), Patrick Warner (Chris). More here. (* denotes an understudy).

The Play That Goes Wrong UK Tour Review

The first UK Tour of Mischief Theatre's Olivier Award winning masterpiece 'The Play That Goes Wrong' is a hilarious delight from start to finish. Set amid a doomed production of  'The Murder at Haversham Manor' put on by the fictional Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society; it's not long before things start to go very very wrong for the klutzy cast as they attempt to drag themselves through the piece. The comedy is silly but ridiculously clever in its creation, new fateful situations arise out of mid-air, rarely anticipated, jokes repeated only enough to turn giggles into howls of laughter.

The small cast works incredibly well together, racing through the fast paced proceedings with impeccable timing, shining as a whole but also individually as they build on each character's own quirks. What struck me most about this production is how intricately choreographed the anarchy is and how intricately clever the set is to allow for that anarchy to erupt instantly while still enabling visible destruction to be reversed in a blink of an eye.

This technical precision highlights my main criticism of the piece; the whole thing is a bit meta. Sure, it's intended. The title alone tells the viewer all hell is going to break loose; but I can't help thinking the wrong-doings would be more humorous if we didn't know they were fake - meticulously formed by the show's creators. It misses out on giving the audience that initial jolting moment of 'what the hell is going on?'. At times the comedy also frustrates in the way it defies logic - if a prop falls off a wall no sane actor would try and hold it in place, they'd put it down and get on with their lines. Yes, I overthink everything.

Overall, there's no doubt that The Play That Goes Wrong in a wildly unique and entertaining comedy, especially if you hand over your mind at the door and appreciate it for what it is. Everything about this production from the script, to the cast and atmospheric set, fit perfectly together to form a truly joyous few hours of theatre. I give The Play That Goes Wrong a rating of 4/5.

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