REVIEW: The Play That Goes Wrong (Curve) ★★★★

It’s quite rare that I venture into a production totally blind with no idea what I am letting myself in for, but this was very much the case with The Play That Goes Wrong. I vaguely knew that scenery falls down at some point and that it’s a ‘what it says on the tin’ production, but other than that I really was none-the-wiser.

Incidentally, there are two types of theatre I personally really hate: slapstick and murder mysteries. So, when I realised that this production is a slapstick murder mystery, I did have to take a minute to briefly reevaluate my life choices. However, once it got going I was very pleasantly surprised and my abs definitely feel a bit firmer after two hours of genuine belly laughing.

The Play That Goes Wrong is a play within a play as we visit The Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society, who are putting on a 1920s murder mystery called The Murder at Haversham Manor. As you might expect – everything that possibly can go wrong, does go wrong. From doors sticking shut to paintings falling down, actors being knocked unconscious to whole pieces of staging collapsing – the Drama Society’s play quickly descends into unimaginable chaos. Essentially, the play embodies every actor and production team’s worst possible nightmares.

The cast is made up of six fantastic actors, who are downright hilarious with impeccable timing. They each bring something slightly different and a whole new aspect of ridiculousness to the show.

Directed by the phenomenal Chris Bean (who also stars as the director of the Drama Society and Inspector Carter), it’s Fawlty Towers meets Mr Bean, with buckets full of schadenfreude for the audience to lap up. Using every banana-skin slapstick trick in the book, there are a few times the slapstick slides into the realms of slightly obvious and corny, but mostly The Play That Goes Wrong is chock-a-block full of outrageously funny quips that’ll be sure to leave you throwing your head back in laughter time and time again.

Reviewed by Rosie Bambury
Photo: Robert Day


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