REVIEW: The Play That Goes Wrong is ‘a show unlike any other’

The cast of The Play That Goes Wrong. Picture: Robert Day

The cast of The Play That Goes Wrong. Picture: Robert Day - Credit: Robert Day

What do you get when you combine failing props, forgetful actors, clumsiness and a crumbling set? Well I found out when The Play That Goes Wrong premiered at the Bristol Hippodrome last night (Monday).

The cast of The Play That Goes Wrong. Picture: Robert Day

The cast of The Play That Goes Wrong. Picture: Robert Day - Credit: Robert Day

To say that this show was funny would be arguably the understatement of the year with its bumbling cast and crumbling set.

The Play That Goes Wrong has scooped up 11 international awards including the 2015 Olivier Award for Best New Comedy and a 2017 Tony Award for its Broadway transfer.

Mischief Theatre take on the roles of The Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society which attempts to put on a 1920s murder mystery titled A Murder At Haversham Manor and, as the title of this theatre show suggests, everything which could go wrong… does.

There is not one part of this show which I did not like and every joke, gag and falling prop was timed to perfection.

The cast of The Play That Goes Wrong. Picture: Robert Day

The cast of The Play That Goes Wrong. Picture: Robert Day - Credit: Robert Day


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The audience were in stitches throughout and everyone was one their seat when the final prop crashed to the floor.

The play is about tycoon Charles Haversham (played by Steven Rostance’s character Jonathan) who is found dead in his private room.

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Inspector Carter (played by Jake Curran’s Chris Bean) is at the scene to try to work out ‘who dunnit?’ and explores every possible outcome with disastrous consequences.

I loved every second of this immersive play, which included some of the cast wandering around the stalls with a squeaky toy looking for Winston the guard dog before any of the audience had taken their seats.

The cast of The Play That Goes Wrong. Picture: Robert Day

The cast of The Play That Goes Wrong. Picture: Robert Day - Credit: Robert Day

Before the show officially starts, you are already in fits of giggles with a temperamental door and a shelf which just will not stay upright.

As it progresses, things go from bad to worst for these actors with some getting knocked out by their cast mates and stuffed into a grandfather clock and others finding the set just crumble beneath their very feet.

A surprise favourite with the audience was the bumbling butler Perkins, played by Benjamin McMahon.

Simply watching him walk around the stage and attempt to deliver his lines was comedy on its own, let alone when he felt the need to pour his cast mates a ‘stiff one’ in the form of white spirit.

The cast of The Play That Goes Wrong. Picture: Robert Day

The cast of The Play That Goes Wrong. Picture: Robert Day - Credit: Robert Day

Another firm favourite was lighting and sound guy Trevor, played by Gabriel Paul, who not only had some prop issues himself, but also had the audience chuckling from start to finish.

But all-in-all, every member of the Mischief Theatre were exceptional and could not have put on a better performance if they tried.

This show has got to be one of the funniest I have ever had the pleasure of watching and I will definitely be returning to any future performance put on by this incredibly talented cast.

The Play That Goes Wrong will be at the Bristol Hippodrome, in St Augustines Parade in Bristol, at 7.30pm from today (Tuesday) until Saturday.

The cast of The Play That Goes Wrong. Picture: Robert Day

The cast of The Play That Goes Wrong. Picture: Robert Day - Credit: Robert Day

There will be two additional 2.30pm performances tomorrow (Wednesday) and Saturday.

Tickets, priced £15-35.40, are available from www.atgtickets.com/bristol or on 08448 713012.

The cast of The Play That Goes Wrong. Picture: Robert Day

The cast of The Play That Goes Wrong. Picture: Robert Day - Credit: Robert Day

The cast of The Play That Goes Wrong. Picture: Robert Day

The cast of The Play That Goes Wrong. Picture: Robert Day - Credit: Robert Day

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