Review: "The Play That Goes Wrong" - UK Touring Production

Lewis Baird

  • United Kingdom Critic

It's very rare that a play is considered mainstream, plus popular among audiences of all ages and demographics. However, that seems to be the case with Mischief Theatre's farce, The Play That Goes Wrong. After a hugely successful run in London's west end, the production is now on a tour of the United Kingdom. So I thought I best go and see what all the fuss was about.

The Play That Goes Wrong, follows Corley Polytechnic Drama Society's (eventful) production of Murder at Haversham Manor. A classic murder mystery. However, things start to go wrong with set, lighting/sound cues, lines being forgotten and actors being severely injured. I don't want to spoil much of the humour as this play is jam packed with comic genius.

Instantly as you step foot into the theatre there is action taking place. The stage crew are checking to make sure all is in order with the (rickety) set. Obviously they are not actually stage crew and actually actors, however you definitely get indulged in the mess unfolding in front of you. Especially when the "lighting and sound technician", Trevor appears behind us in the upper circle asking myself and my friend, Rachel, if we have seen a dog. This is a brilliant Brechtian technique which works really well to let the audience know exactly what they are in for.


This is ultimately an ensemble cast who brilliantly work together. Jake Curran, Steven Rostance, Kazeem Tosin Amore, David Kristopher-Brown, Elena Valentine, Bobby Hirston, Catherine Dryden and Gabriel Paul, all tackled this performance with perfect comic timing, a humongous amount of energy and the right tone to make this piece work. For myself and my friend Rachel, we both study acting, therefore this play really did resonate with us, so we were in fits of laughter the whole way through, as we know the disasters that can unfold on stage, maybe not as catastrophically bad as this but definitely relatable!

However, it definitely wasn't just us that found this play absolutely hilarious. The full theatre was in fits of laughter. This is the most laughs I have heard in a theatre, ever! So it definitely resonates with audience members of any age and background.

The writers of this play, Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields, along with the director, Mark Bell, have set this production to conquer the comic side of plays within the UK and the world. Because there is so much action happening and so much for the audience to feast their eyes on, there isn't once second of boredom. Plus at points you could be laughing at six different events taking place on stage. It is just pure comedy genius at it's best. Infact it's British comedy at it's best!

This play is an absolute riot. I thought I would be going in with high expectations to come out disappointed. However, with set/lighting/music malfunctions, performers overacting like hell, fantastic physical comedy and a missing Duran Duran CD, this theatre malfunctions galore.

I rate this glorious production 5/5. This is by far the best comedy play around, smashing it in theatres around the world. Get out and see it!