“Will have you laughing, crying and jumping in your seats for fear of your life!”
What can I say about the play that goes wrong? Pretty much I nearly died figuratively and literally. Figuratively I couldn’t breathe as I was dying of laughter. Also, physically because the various antics of what went on in the production made me fear for my life! You may not have heard of the play that goes wrong. It is a fairly recent production from mischief theatre which do similar productions like a play about a bank robbery and when peter pan goes wrong. I am not always one for plays but I decided to book a front seat to this production at the Duchess theatre in London. I swear it is the funniest production I have ever seen!
Now here is a little low down if you don’t want any spoilers. The production is based on a murder mystery of an amateur theatre production which continues through the show. Even before the show starts the cast are in the audience searching for a piece of prop which has gone missing. There is an audience involvement before it starts. The comedic timing is impeccable and the acting is so believable you would think that the disasters were occurring naturally and not staged. Each character has their own shining moment and it doesn’t take long from things to go wrong to into an absolute disaster. The actors pretend to be terrible actors which is a dynamic I have never experienced before but it resulted in a priceless production. Imagine Fawlty towers but a hundred times worse! John Cleese would be perfect for this production.
Now my favourite bits. At the start of the production the main actress gets knocked out and they try to pull her off the set. Replacing her with one of the stage hands in horrendous make up and a wig with the script. She does a good job until the script falls apart and then she nearly has a nervous breakdown. Then the stage hand gets knocked out and shoved in a grandfather clock where she has to act from later.
The point where I feared for my life, there is a second floor and one of the actors knocks over the support beam right in front of me with tow of the actors and props still up there. They then have to continue the scene and not fall off. The inspector could just slide off as he is so tall but there were hair raising moments when I thought if he drops anything I am totally fucked. In the end they resolve the issue.
There is comedic timing with actors forgetting their lines. Using the wrong props and everything collapsing in around them. They have to keep going and often fall out of character and improvise. The director looks like he’s going to have a mental breakdown. At his pivotal moment his prop is not there and no one can assist him. His frustration, crying and bright red face had me crying with laughter. Then he yelled at me for laughing at his pain. He reminded me of Basil Fawlty but even more extreme.
The stage hand who wasn’t even paying attention and assists with lines ended up in the production as the female roll. His grumpy attitude led to hilarious comedic timing with some of his fellow actors.
I would highly recommend this production. It is right next to the Lyceum theatre on the Strand. It will have you in stitches and is well worth a visit. They have a UK tour but I think most to the dates have finished. I look forward to going to see the play about a bank robbery in Glasgow next month. GET YOUR TICKETS ASAP!!!!