Duchess Theatre, London – currently booking until February 2017
The original production from the Mischief Theatre company has certainly come along way from its first performance at the Old Red Lion Theatre.
Who knew a murder mystery could provide so many laughs? Well, thank goodness for Mischief Theatre and Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society, audiences can take real pleasure in seeing everything go wrong at the theatre. As the Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society attempt to put on their production of ‘Murder at Haversham Manor’, a number of incidents shall we say hampers their progress – getting bigger and more extravagant as it goes along.
It wouldn’t be fair to any potential audience members to ruin any of the jokes to expect, but it is a production that is slick, clever and brilliantly executed thanks to the current cast and wonderful script written by original cast members Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields.
One of the strengths of the show is how it uses the audience and their reactions to provide even more entertainment – which is particularly seen before the show has even begun. In order for the show to work properly, it strong comic timing and great energy throughout – which, again thankfully it has in bucketloads. The cast all ensure that the physical comedy is timed to perfection and made to look as natural as possible. But it is also the expressions and the way in which the cast deliver the lines that make it all the more believable.
The cast provide excellent performances such as Harry Kershaw as Chris, who grows increasingly frustrated and tense with the way the production is going, Niall Ransome as Dennis desperately struggling with words that he has to say (leading to hilarious alternatives), Laura Kirman as Annie – reluctantly dragged on stage but soon finds her confidence and power and Fred Gray as the abrupt and unfocused Trevor who just wants to find his Duran Duran CD.
Occasionally, it feels as though some of the jokes go on for slightly longer than necessary and at times the cast get a little bit carried away during certain scenes – but as distracting as it is it doesn’t really matter as you are probably recovering from laughing any way to notice too much.
The real star of the show however is the wonderful set designed by Nigel Hook that gets involved with proceedings in a big way and much to the delight to the audience.
If you are in need of cheering up then pay a visit to the Duchess theatre where this show will probably play for a long while yet – it will have you laughing from beginning to end and all the way home at least.
The Play That Goes Wrong is currently booking at the Duchess Theatre until the 26th February 2017. To book tickets visit: Ticketmaster.co.uk, Discount Theatre.com, Last Minute.com, Theatre Tickets Direct.co.uk, Love Theatre.com, Theatre People.com and UK Tickets.co.uk .