The Play That Went Wrong at Theatre Royal
The Mischief Theatre caused utter chaos at Theatre Royal with this hilarious high energy performance.
The Play That Went Wrong is certainly a fitting title for this play as everything does in fact go terribly for the poor failing drama society as they host their performance of ‘Murder At Haversham Manor.’
The drama society is quite obviously terrible: from the unnatural actors, the stage that falls apart (causing several horrendous injuries) and the unfortunate inability of the actors to ignore what is going wrong around them. This is all deliberate of course, and it turns into a whirlwind of hysteria and chaos until you leave feeling exhausted.
It took a while to get into the flow of the play despite the directors introduction, as it was all very, well…silly.
Think Fawlty Towers but even more exaggerated, if that’s even possible. However, the mistakes certainly tickled the old funny bone, especially with prop misplacement where the detective was forced to write his notes on a vase with a set of keys and a bottle of scotch was replaced by a bottle of white spirit to name just a few highlights.
It was the ridiculous little details that added up to the biggest laughs rather than the outlandish gestures.
The script was certainly very clever; it managed to remain a standard murder mystery text, yet included just enough tongue-in-cheek, one-liner humour to ground the titular wrongness.
The actors were also hilarious in the face of mounting mishaps and maladies; even during the interval the technical assistant was running round the venue trying to find a missing dog. As you do.
Ultimately, outside of some excessive and wearying slapstick, The Play that Went Wrong remains a raucously funny production.