The Play That Goes Wrong, The Duchess Theatre | Review

Wednesday 11 September 2019

The Play That Goes Wrong
The Duchess Theatre 
Reviewed on Tuesday 10th September 2019 by Olivia Mitchell 

The Play That Goes Wrong and all of Mischief Theatre's productions have gained somewhat of a cult following thanks to their un-stuffy, melodramatic and outrageously slapstick set ups, which thrill regular theatre goers and less frequent attenders alike. The show throws buckets of energy out as it takes on the form of a whodunnit and is authentically British.

The story follows an amateur dramatic group, the Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society, as they attempt to wow audiences with their version of the 1920s murder mystery The Murder at Haversham Manor. Well what follows is a production that is less wow and more woe. The sets collapse, the plot goes wrong and literal anarchy ensues. Thankfully for us, this is all done with hilarious humour as the cast embody the motto that the show must go on. 

Everything about this production is choreographed chaos, as every trick and accident is pulled off with such a natural flow that it feels improvised, but in reality is precisely organised. Daring tricks are carried out as actors fall from the ceiling, jump out of windows and play their own version of twister as they try to keep the set and props in place. 

At times the production does teeter on the edge of being too slapstick but most of the time it beautifully draws back to remain funny. This really is a show down to personal taste and for some it'll will certainly be too over the top and not enough thespian but for a completely carefree night of theatre, there's no reason to miss it.

Thanks to the wonderfully strong cast, this production rattles along with efficiency and intensity. Often breaking the fourth wall and including the audience in the action, this really becomes a raucous piece of communal theatre. With pantomime antics and tricks which will keep you on your toes, The Play That Goes Wrong is a belly-laugh inducing piece of theatre which will continue to entertain and surprise during it's fifth year in London.