BWW Review: THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG at Comedy Theatre
The Play That Goes Wrong starts subtly with a member of the audience brought up on stage to lend a hand to two hopeless stage technicians, Trevor and Annie. They are setting the stage for a performance of Murder at Haversham Manor by the Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society. With fireplace mantles falling down and doors that won't close (and then won't open), we are introduced to the slapstick nature of the show.
Once everything is (kind of) ready to go, the Director of Murder at Haversham Manor takes to the stage with some notes of welcome and apology. Nick Simpson-Deeks is perfectly dry as the Director and his comic timing sets the tone for some very strong performances.
As the "performance" begins, everything truly does go wrong. Lines are forgotten, props go missing or break, the acting is terrible and the Murder at Haversham Manor goes downhill fast. But it's funny!
Despite The Play That Goes Wrong being a little slower than similar farces like Noises Off, the cast give light and shade to an otherwise sometimes dragging script. Stand out performances come from James Marlowe, a London cast member reprising his role down under and is hysterical as the clumsy over-actor, and Luke Joslin, who performs feats of physical theatre with Marlowe and Simpson-Deeks that are a highlight of the show.
Visually, the show is spectacular. The set is an ever moving, ever changing character and its intricacies and tricks are marvellous. The surprises in the show come from the physical performances of Luke Joslin, Nick Simpson-Deeks, James Marlowe, Brooke Satchwell and Tammy Weller, all whom put their whole bodies in to the show!
All in all, The Play That Goes Wrong is an enjoyable show which is guaranteed to make you laugh and has something for all ages. An incredible effort goes into a show like this, that kind of chaos has to be perfectly and meticulously planned, and by golly it is chaotic!