Touring – reviewed at the Storyhouse, Chester
Guest reviewer: Becca Cromwell
The Mischief Theatre company, founded in 2008, is well known for providing family entertainment and great comedy and they certainly don’t disappoint with the UK tour of the West End hit The Play That Goes Wrong. This is not the first time their shows have been on tour, with Peter Pan Goes Wrong being a massive hit in 2014.
I went in with high expectations. Before the house lights went down, members of the cast are walking around the auditorium asking the unsuspecting audience members whether they have seen a dog. Causing mischief before the show even starts. They ask an audience member to help them fix the mantlepiece on the stage, which in due course turns to chaos.
As the lights dim, we are introduced to Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society, who is putting on a performance of Murder at Haversham Manor… The society is famed for its bad productions. They begin the first act of their play and it all goes downhill from there and side-splitting hilarity ensued.
The stunts and physical work are extremely impressive from all cast members. Kazeem Tosin Amore plays Robert (Thomas Colleymoore) and gives an impressive performance. Bobby Hirston as Max (Cecil/Gardener) is incredibly funny, with his performance gaining laughs more or less every minute he is onstage.
Jake Curran brings the Director/Inspector to life with great vigour. With great physical work and hilariously over the top acting as the Inspector, it certainly is a memorable performance.
Catherine Dryden plays techie turned star Annie who saves the show in its moment of need and is hilarious in doing so. Definitely a standout of the show.
Steven Rostance gave a hilarious performance as the ‘murdered’ Charles Haversham, who gained large applause when he finally did get the right scene.
Elena Valentine played Sandra (Florence Colleymoore), and gave an exciting performance, particularly towards the end in the ‘two Florences’ scene.
A special mention must go to Gabriel Paul, who played Trevor, the Duran Duran loving sound technican. Hilarity ensued every time Gabriel entered the stage.
Benjamin McMahon portrayed Dennis (Perkins) well, using superb and memorable facial expressions throughout.
Fair to say I enjoyed the show. The rest of the audience loved it too, with many leaving with tears of laughter still rolling down their cheeks.
The use of set was fantastic. Everything was so well organised and well timed that pieces repeatedly falling down should not have been as funny the second or third time round, but were! Pieces of set collapsing, blowing up and coming off are not easy to time right on top of saying lines and remembering to act, so the tech team and stage hands and directors need their very own round of applause for this alone.
The cast took their bows to extremely well deserved rapturous applause. Bravo to them all!