Review // The Play That Goes Wrong

I'd heard brilliant things about how funny The Play That Goes Wrong is including- and I quote- "the funniest thing I have ever seen". I couldn't resist hype like that now, could I? After weeks of anticipation, Rich and I finally saw it this weekend and oh my God, it genuinely is the funniest thing I have ever seen.
Review of The Play That Goes Wrong

When we booked tickets, we knew absolutely nothing about the play whatsoever other than, you know, funniest thing I have ever seen. Although I won't exactly be giving away any spoilers in this review, I will be discussing aspects of the plot so maybe don't read ahead if you haven't seen it yet. Or do. Whatever.

The Play That Goes Wrong is a play within a play, which is nowhere near as confusing as it sounds. The premise is that an amateur dramatics society are putting on a performance of a play named Murder at Haversham Manor and the actors are in character from the second you step foot in the theatre. While you're being seated, the set is still being constructed with last minute issues and the director makes the rounds, introducing himself and thanking you all for coming.

Before the curtain comes up, the "director" (remember he's an actor, not the real director. Confused yet?) introduces the play to us with humour right from the off, although everything is played completely straight. As the play begins, things start to go wrong- people miss their cue or forget their line- but it completely unravels minute on minute. Just when you think nothing can get any worse, it does, with absolutely hilarious effect. Yet somehow you're never expecting the next event. It's cleverly set up so that it seems really obvious... and then something completely unexpected occurs. I lost count of the amount of times we said to each other "I see where this is going", only to be proved wrong. 

I've seen a fair few comedy gigs and attended some funny plays but my God, nothing has made me laugh as hard as this. There were more than a couple of moments where I actually screamed- but that's ok because so did everybody else. The actors were magnificent. How they managed to keep a straight face is beyond me and I loved how, despite all the chaos on stage and the fact that there was no room for character development in the plot (since the plot was the play they were performing and not the play we paid to watch, you with me?), they really managed to portray the different personalities- and neuroses- of each character. Even in the interval, the concept of an amateur production was followed through with actors running around and arguing in the corridors.

Don't let me fool you- this is not sophisticated humour. It's slapstick through and through which just so happens to be my favourite kind of comedy (is there anything funnier than people walking into things? No. No there's not). In the end, it was so out of control that I completely lost track of the story and have no idea who the murderer was! That doesn't matter though because I laughed so hard I genuinely thought I might wet myself. In some ways, it was reminiscent of Fawlty Towers what with the complete chaos unfolding. Seriously, you need to go and see this play. I promise you'll love it! 
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1 comment :

  1. See it, loved it, wouldn't mind seeing it again. I was greeted and chatted to by the 'director' at the beginning but thankfully no audience participation. I missed their Peter Pan goes wrong play at Christmas but they are bringing it back for this coming Christmas so I'll be booking tickets for that


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