Words From The Wings: Chris Lanceley of THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG Shares Pre-Show Rituals and More!

Words From the Wings brings fans behind the scenes of some of their favorite Broadway stars' backstage routines!

By: Sep. 07, 2023
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BroadwayWorld is bringing you Words From the Wings, a new series of interviews that take fans behind the scenes of some of their favorite Broadway stars' backstage routines!

Today we're chatting with Chris Lanceley from The Play That Goes Wrong! Chris told us all about his pre-show rituals, backstage routines, and more!

Check out his answers, along with photos taken by BroadwayWorld's Jennifer Broski, below!

The Play That Goes Wrong

What’s the first thing you do when you arrive to the theatre?

We have a dry erase board on the dressing room door and each day someone puts up a new poll.  First thing I do is check the question and fill out my answer.  Smooth or Crunchy Peanut Butter caused a few arguments.

What’s the last thing you do before you go on stage?

I take a moment to myself. There's a long pause in the action on stage right before I enter so I close my eyes, focus on my breathing and just consider the stakes that I'll be entering with, what's important to my character and why. My character cares so deeply about what he's about to do so it's important to me that I enter with that energy.

What’s your must-have backstage snack?

I like a protein bar and Vocal Zone Throat Pastilles. This show is physically and vocally exhausting and I don't like to feel too heavy during shows so these two keep up my energy levels and help restore my voice if it's getting tired. I even sneak a Vocal Zone on stage every show when I have a stretch sat in silence on stage for 10 minutes.

The Play That Goes Wrong

Pre-show ritual that others may think is weird?

Since the show is about an amateur theatre company on the opening night of their murder mystery I like to wish the cast a happy opening in character as Chris Bean, the director, before I leave the dressing room. If the actor playing Max doesn't return the sentiment, I won't leave until he does.

What are five must-haves in your dressing room?

I have a battery powered mini fake fire place (with mini stockings during the holidays), a mini Turkish rug sits in front of it, I have a little TV screen above the fireplace in case Liverpool FC have a game before a show,  a mini fridge for a cold beer on the final show of the week and finally...electrolyte power!  I like it cosy and practical, in that order.

What’s your favorite moment from the show to watch from the wings?

I don't get much time in the wings but when I do, I like to watch the character Trevor who sits up in his fake lighting booth. He gets some great interactions with the audience and the actors on the stage. He's always up to some sort of Mischief.

What has been your favorite backstage moment in your time with this show so far?

Watching people make their debuts, understudies going on for the first time, new company members going through their opening moments and congratulating them backstage after the curtain call. Everyone who isn't on stage is gathered around the monitors, there's so much love backstage at The Play That Goes Wrong.

The Play That Goes Wrong

About Chris Lanceley

(he/him) Born in Liverpool, England, Chris’ work includes - National Tour: The Play That Goes Wrong, Off-Broadway: The Bad and the Better. Off-West End: Henry V, The Band. TV: “FBI,” “Blue Bloods.” Training: American Academy of Dramatic Arts (NYC), National Youth Theatre of Great Britain. Chris would like to extend a HUGE thank you to agent John Shea as well as to his wife Jenny, Dad, Nan, Kim and Nick. Social Media: @Chris_Lanceley.

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