Theatre Review: The Play That Goes Wrong (Mischief Theatre)
For New Year’s Eve 2016, I went to my friend Joely’s house. We stumbled upon a show on TV called Peter Pan Goes Wrong, and we were intrigued. My sister adores Peter Pan, so we had to see what it was! It turned out to be a show put on by Olivier-award winning theatre group called Mischief Theatre, and oh my god, it was amazing.
As soon as we got home we watched it again, and not long after, we found out Mischief Theatre were going on tour with The Play That Goes Wrong, currently performed on Broadway! We couldn’t wait to buy tickets, and last month, we travelled to Cardiff to see the mayhem for ourselves.
I’ll talk quickly about Peter Pan Goes Wrong (because I love it so much, I just have to). Then I’ll try my best to review The Play That Goes Wrong. This is my first theatre review on my blog, so let me know if you like it!
Peter Pan Goes Wrong
Peter Pan Goes Wrong was performed by a fictional and rather dysfunctional amateur dramatics group, The Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society. Narrated by David Suchet, it was full of Mischief Theatre’s trademark comic mayhem, stunts, chaos, technical hitches, flying mishaps and cast disputes that made us cry with laughter. I instantly fell in love with the whole cast. They had an amazing ability to make the stunts and mistakes seem completely unrehearsed, and I’ve never seen anything like it!
One of my favourite parts was when Nana the dog got stuck in a door, and stage crew had to come and saw him out. Meanwhile, Mrs Darling sung a lullaby to the children, and progressively got louder and louder over the sound of the electric drills used by the stage crew to free Nana. This was one part of many that made us laugh till we cried. Here’s a little sneak peek of the bit that followed:
I can’t believe we stumbled upon the show by accident! I’m so glad we did, because it’s become one of my favourite things to watch. To watch the whole show, you can buy it for a grand price of £1.89 on the BBC Store.
The Play That Goes Wrong
I was a little apprehensive before we went to see the show because we knew it wouldn’t be the same cast as Peter Pan. Because we loved the cast so much, we really hoped this touring cast would live up to our expectations. They definitely did! As much as I’d love to see the original cast, they did a great job at casting the right people while they’re away on Broadway.
The Play That Goes Wrong is a 1920s murder mystery, full of twists and turns… and falling apart scenery. When we were waiting in the foyer to go into the auditorium, a loud, Scottish stage manager came through asking if anyone had seen a dog. The dog was then mentioned several times throughout the show. Then when we sat down waiting for it to start, several stage crew members were on the stage. They were worrying about the missing dog, and even holding up bits of the scenery that has already fallen down. Things like this made it an amazing immersive experience that had everyone laughing, before the house lights even went down!
I was so glad that the cast were as wonderful as I’d hoped! Their comic timing was on point, and their delivery of the lines was perfect. None of us really had any idea of what the story was about or what would happen, and it’s better that way. When you have no idea what to expect, it makes it so much funnier when the stage collapses or the scenery falls with a bang to the floor. (All of that happened, and so much more.) I knew that with Mischief Theatre, nothing was off limits and any disaster could happen – but I didn’t expect so much carnage!
It’s funny because I’m not usually a huge fan of obvious slapstick or farcical comedy. But there’s something about Mischief Theatre that catches your attention, and the way that the stunts are so well planned out make their shows irresistible. The cast work so well together, and they have no shame. They’re all perfectly happy to make a fool of themselves, and sometimes, even have most of their clothes torn off in crazy wardrobe malfunctions.
I’m not sure if The Play That Goes Wrong is still on tour. But if the show ever comes anywhere near you, you really should go and see it! It’s worth every penny. It’s not often you go to see a comedy that makes you actually cry with laughter, and this one will!
I’m really enjoying expanding my blog and writing about topics other than books. There are a few more theatre reviews to come, so if you liked this one, keep an eye out for them!