The Play That Goes Wrong took things to a new level at the Theatre Royal Bath this Christmas. In fact, things went so wrong that the original press night of the show ended up being cancelled due to one of the cast members testing positive for Covid-19. However, with Mischief Theatre being the professionals they are, the London cast was whisked from the West End to the West Country and the shows continued.
For those who aren’t familiar with this production, it follows Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society as they put on their latest play, ‘The Murder of Haversham Manor’ and as you may have guessed by the title, things don’t exactly go to plan.
It’s tricky to express just how funny the production is without giving everything away. Each piece of set that falls apart, each malapropism and each stumble are perfectly executed with split-second timing.
The verbal comedy is just as strong as the physical and slapstick humour. The daft and hilarious lines accompany the pranks and falls with the words enhancing the actions rather than upstaging them; a critical balancing act that the company has perfected.
From the opening line to the final bow the timing of every single gag is flawless and execution flawless. A large chunk of this is down to the technical team who ensure every mishap happens, they go unseen for the majority of the production but should definitely not go forgotten.
Watching a normal play you'd cringe and squirm if you spot a mistake but 'The Play That Goes Wrong' allows you to indulge in the mayhem and embrace the chaos. It’s a welcome escape from Covid times into a land of entertaining disaster. At least in the Mischief world, things are meant to go wrong…