Ginger Hibiscus | Review The Play That Goes Wrong at the Duchess Theatre in London by Ginger Hibiscus
Review The Play That Goes Wrong at the Duchess Theatre in London by Ginger Hibiscus
Review The Play That Goes Wrong at the Duchess Theatre in London by Ginger Hibiscus West End
post-template-default,single,single-post,postid-18160,single-format-standard,tribe-no-js,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-4.2.1,vc_responsive

30 Sep REVIEW: The Play That Goes Wrong at the Duchess Theatre

Describing a play as “a perfectly choreographed catastrophe” could be considered a very unorthodox way of opening a rave review. But it’s the only possible description of The Play that Goes Wrong, which is quite frankly, a down right disaster. In all the ways you would hope.

Welcome to The Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society’s latest production, Murder at Haversham Manor. A very English murder mystery set in the 1920s, it’s an ambitious play that opens with very little promise, and that descends through mishap, mistake and misfortune, into the depths of pure, unadulterated chaos.

It doesn’t take a master of inference to deduct that The Play That Goes Wrong is a farce, a ridiculous ride through a show where everything that could possibly go wrong…well…yes, exactly that. But what’s less apparent from the title, is how genuinely funny it is. Under Mark Bell’s exemplary direction, we have brilliant comic timing, outrageous scenarios, slapstick, plays on words and cerebral satire that hit the humour on so many different levels that your lungs might explode with laughter.

On the face of it, it could seem that a show so centered on disarray would be incredibly forgiving of the creative team, but the pure technicality of The Play That Goes Wrong means this couldn’t be further from the truth. It takes a remarkable amount of precision to make a play like this work, and the production is a brilliant example of what happens when every string in the orchestra of detail is played in time and in tune.

In a show that, yes, has some slapstick elements, it’s surprising and delightful to find such strong characterisation, particularly as we see from Max (Dave Hearn). A triumph of writing, casting and acting, the elements all come together to create characters with very different personalities, that respond very differently to the on stage pressure cooker. It’s their responses to the disasters that beset them that makes the difference between it just being a silly show, and it being truly hilarious. And it definitely falls in the latter.

The Play That Goes Wrong sees an uproarious alignment of en pointe technical detail, exemplary comic timing and brilliantly dynamic scenery, which meet in a hysterical spiral that’ll leave your face aching, your spirits lifted and any inclination you might have to appear in am-dram thoroughly dampened. In short, it’s a side-splitting humdinger of a play- in all the best ways.

For tickets and information:

Thanks to Official Theatre for arranging tickets. You can get more information on The Play That Goes Wrong at their website by clicking here.

Social Media:

Star Rating

Ginger Hibiscus don’t like using stars as a headline; we think they’re too reductionist, and that decision-making based on stars misses the point of a review. Just as you wouldn’t judge a personality using a five-point scale, theatre is multi-dimensional. So have a read, and then look at the stars afterwards.
Okay, fine, but how many stars do you give it? Click here