Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Henry Shields. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Henry Shields. Sort by date Show all posts

Wednesday 2 February 2022

The Play That Goes Wrong Extends Booking Period

The Play That Goes Wrong, the Olivier Award-winning box office hit announces a new booking period with tickets now on sale until Sunday 2 April 2023.


The Play That Goes Wrong is currently blundering its way through its 8th year in the West End. In August 2021 it became the longest ever running play at The Duchess Theatre (since the theatre opened in 1929), and is the longest running comedy in the West End.


Awarded the 2014 WhatsOnStage Award for Best New Comedy, the 2015 Olivier Award for Best New Comedy and a Tony Award for the Broadway transfer, The Play That Goes Wrong continues to delight audiences in the West End. 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 and now has productions in over 30 countries.


Blayar Benn                      Trevor

Tom Bulpett                      Chris

Oliver Clayton                  Jonathan

Michael Keane                 Dennis

David Kirkbride                Robert

Jack Michael Stacey       Max

Ciara Morris                      Annie

Elena Valentine                Sandra


The company is completed by Rosemarie AkwafoEuan BennetColin BurnicleSally Cheng and Damien James.


The Play That Goes Wrong is co-written by Mischief company members Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields and is directed by Mark Bell, with set designs by Nigel Hook, costumes by Roberto Surace, lighting by Ric Mountjoy, original music by Rob Falconer, sound design by Andy Johnson and the associate director is Sean TurnerThe Play That Goes Wrong is produced in the West End by Kenny Wax Ltd and Stage Presence Ltd.

Mischief Theatre Ltd. was founded in 2008 by a group of acting graduates of LAMDA and began as an improvised comedy group. Mischief performs across the UK and internationally with original scripted and improvised work and also has a programme of workshops. The Play That Goes Wrong is currently playing in the West End and begins a three-month tour at Bath Theatre Royal in April, with both Magic Goes Wrong and Groan Ups currently touring the UK. Series 2 of the BBC comedy The Goes Wrong Show is currently available to watch on iPlayer. 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. 

photo credit: Helen Maybanks


Friday 13 April 2018

The Comedy About a Bank Robbery, Criterion Theatre | Review

The Comedy About a Bank Robbery
Criterion Theatre
Reviewed on Thursday 12th April 2018 by Emma Gradwell

Written by Mischief Theatre founders Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields, The Comedy About a Bank Robbery gives you a grouping of incompetent thieves as they try to steal a rare diamond from Minneapolis City Bank during the summer of 1958 – very much a homage to American screwball cops and robbers comedies. The play begins with escaping convicts and corrupt Prison Guards plotting the heist. The tone is set from the start that this is very much a modern farce, with “Naked Gun” style misheard and misinterpreted words and phrases. 

The farcical plot concerns a dubious banker by the name of Robin Freeboys (played by Leonard Cook) whose name produces many comic moments when misheard as “robbing three boys”, inexplicably being entrusted with a rare diamond owned by a Hungarian Prince. The mantra from the start is that everyone in this town is a crook of which we are often reminded by Mr. Freeboys underpaid but very smart receptionist, Ruth Monaghan (gloriously played by Jenna Augen). You have to keep watching to the end to find out who finally bags the jewel. 

Aggressive and gruff prison escapee Mitch Ruscitti (played by Matt Hunt) returns home to his beautiful but tricky girlfriend Caprice (played by Holly Sumpton) who happens to be the daughter of Mr. Freeboys. Caprice is entertaining loveable petty criminal Sam (played by Sam Fogell) that she met at the bank, he also happens to be the son of bank employee Ruth. What follows is an impeccably timed scene involving concealing Sam all around a malfunctioning mechanical bed ending with him assuming the identity of Robin Freeboys with a ridiculous disguise made up of household objects. 

The story continues with obvious visual and verbal gags coming thick and fast. The sporadic doo wop musical interludes are cute and beautifully done. One of the highlights is a scene in the bank set at a perilous 90 degree angle to obtain a birds eye view from the banks vents system where the crooks are attempting to get to the vaults. Ageing intern Warren Slax (gamely played by Peter McGovern) is anchored by a safety harness as he tries to manoeuvre his way around the “office” while carrying out menial tasks for the demanding Mr. Freeboys. It is very hard to pour a coffee when gravity is not defied. 

A special mention needs to go to Chris Leask who marvellously plays “Everyone Else” in the play. His facial expressions alone had the audience roaring with laughter. A three way fight between Caprice’s unwitting lovers ensues. The lovers are a hillbilly, a decrepit nursing home resident and an angry German. Playing all three parts and being on the giving and receiving end of the punches is no mean feat. Wonderfully performed and slickly directed. 

The jokes do become repetitive and are not really very clever. If it’s an evening of high-brow culture you are after then this definitely is not the show for you but if you want to just sit back and watch a bit of silliness then this will tick the right boxes.

Photo credit: Robert Workman