THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG Off-Broadway Welcomes New Cast Members

The Play That Goes Wrong, directed by Matt DiCarlo, opened at New World Stages - Stage 4 in February 2019.

By: Jul. 25, 2022
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THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG Off-Broadway Welcomes New Cast Members
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The long running hit, The Play That Goes Wrong has a whole lotta changes going on and is celebrating a few milestones. It plays at New World Stages (340 West 50th Street).

Beginning tonight, Monday July 25, Chris Lanceley takes over the role of Chris Bean, Chris French goes on as Jonathan, and Russell Mernagh temporarily joins the company in the role of Max until August 22 when Adam Petherbridge takes over.

Lanceley, French, and Petherbridge all previously played their respective new roles on the second National Tour, and Mr. Lanceley is an original off-Broadway company member who debuted in the show playing Jonathan.

In case you didn't enjoy those statistics, here are some more!

The Play That Goes Wrong began in December 2012 in a tiny North London studio theatre (capacity 50) above a pub. At the first performance, there were 34 people. Four of them had paid (and they were the parents of two company members).

The Play That Goes Wrong also knows that people love to celebrate milestones with nice even numbers with a lot of zeros. Unsurprisingly, TPTGW doesn't.

Since that inauspicious London debut, 3,670,185 have seen the show performed in a theatre in English. An additional 8.2 million people watched an excerpt on the UK's Royal Variety Performance and 5,296,188 people have watched that clip on YouTube as of today.

But what makes The Play That Goes Wrong the world's biggest hit show? Simple math. The actors get hit in the show 19 times in each performance, either by an object or by each other. There have been 6194 performances in the English language all around the world. Which means someone has been struck 117,686 times, making it (officially) the biggest HIT play. (Ouch!)

*These statistics include just audiences who have seen the show in the English language. The production doesn't have access to the numbers for non-English language productions, but clearly, it's MORE. The Paris production has been running for five years and continues.

Co-written by Mischief company members Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields, The Play That Goes Wrong is a riotous comedy about the theatre. The play introduces The 'Cornley University Drama Society' who are attempting to put on a 1920s' murder mystery, but as the title suggests, everything that can go wrong...does, as the accident-prone thespians battle on against all odds to get to their final curtain call.

The Play That Goes Wrong, directed by Matt DiCarlo, opened at New World Stages - Stage 4 on Wednesday, February 20, 2019. The Play That Goes Wrong features set design by Tony Award winner Nigel Hook, costume design by Roberto Surace, lighting design by Jeremy Cunningham, and sound design by Beth Lake. The original Broadway production was directed by Mark Bell and featured lighting design by Ric Mountjoy and sound design by Andrew Johnson.

The Broadway production of The Play That Goes Wrong began performances on March 9, 2017, officially opened on April 2, 2017, and concluded its run on Sunday, January 6, 2019 at The Lyceum Theatre. The Broadway production of The Play That Goes Wrong received the 2017 Tony Award for Best Set Design, and the Theater Fans Choice Award for Best Play.

Awarded the 2015 Olivier Award for Best New Comedy and the 2014 WhatsOnStage Award for Best New Comedy, The Play That Goes Wrong returns to its sixth year at the Duchess Theatre in London's West End on June 18, 2021 as well as a UK tour commencing in July. The show's success is a testament to the hard work and determination of a group of drama school graduates who became friends, set up a company under the name "Mischief" and created an extraordinary body of work. The Play That Goes Wrong shows no signs of slowing down since its first performance at a London fringe venue with only four paying customers. Since then, it has played to an audience of over two million people around the world, with productions in over 30 countries.

The Play That Goes Wrong is produced Off-Broadway by Kevin McCollum, J.J. Abrams, Kenny Wax, Stage Presence Ltd., Catherine Schreiber, Ken Davenport, Federman-Batchelder / deRoy-Brunish, Damian Arnold / TC Beech, Greenleaf Productions / Bard-Roth, Martian Entertainment / Jack Lane / John Yonover and Lucas McMahon.

New World Stages is committed to providing healthy and safe facilities for audiences, performers, and staff. Based on CDC and New York State guidelines at the time of performance, protocols may include mask enforcement, vaccination or negative test verification, and more as developed by the theater owners in conjunction with the State. New protective systems - including sanitization and filtration requirements - will be implemented by the theatre to align with federal and state recommendations, and if any regulations change, the theatre will follow state, and federal guidelines to maintain safety for all.


Mischief Theatre Ltd. was founded in 2008 by a group of acting graduates of LAMDA and began as an impro-vised comedy group. Mischief performs across the UK and internationally with original scripted and improvised work and has a program of workshops. The company is owned and controlled by its original members and is led by a creative group and its directors Henry Lewis and Jonathan Sayer.

Pre pandemic, Mischief had multiple productions playing in New York and London. The Play That Goes Wrong (Duchess Theatre, re-opening 18 June 2021), The Comedy About A Bank Robbery (which played at the Criterion Theatre for four years) and following a record-breaking two-year run on Broadway it was represented Off Broadway by The Play That Goes Wrong (New World Stages since 2019, co-produced with Kevin McCollum and JJ Abrams). In September 2019, the company started a West End residency at the Vaudeville Theatre with Groan Ups followed by Magic Goes Wrong, which is due to reopen in Autumn 2021. Other Mischief productions, including Peter Pan Goes Wrong, regularly tour in licensed productions in the UK, USA and worldwide.

In 2017 Mischief Theatre Ltd. and Kenny Wax & Stage Presence, the producers of all the company's West End productions, formed Mischief Worldwide Ltd. to manage the rights to all Mischief projects in all artforms. Mischief Worldwide Ltd., based in London, licenses copyrights, trademarks and other Mischief properties to producers, distributors, publishers, and others around the world.

Mischief was first seen on television in the Royal Variety Performance of 2015 and subsequently in two BBC One Christmas specials, "Peter Pan Goes Wrong" (2016) and "A Christmas Carol Goes Wrong" (2017). In 2018 Mischief Worldwide Ltd. and the Anthology Group formed Mischief Screen Ltd., an independent TV production company headed by CEO Hilary Strong. Its first production (co-produced with Big Talk Productions) was a six-part BBC One commission called "The Goes Wrong Show." The second series is currently in production. Lionsgate International are the distributors outside UK and China.

All the companies develop, create, and perform under the single name of Mischief. Mischief is developing new works of comedy for theatre, TV, film, and other media. Mischief®, Mischief Theatre®, The Play That Goes Wrong® and ® are trademarks and registered trademarks of Mischief Worldwide Ltd. 


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