Skip to main content

The Play That Goes Wrong at Royal & Derngate (Royal), Northampton

A Small Mind trod the boards of the Royal last week making his acting debut in front of over five hundred paying customers. Fortunately for them they were not paying to see me, but actually Mischief Theatre's sublime The Play That Goes Wrong.

A Small Mind found himself on stage at the behest of the lovely Nancy Wallinger (Annie), who was having trouble with the set. I used my stunning acting skills, honed over, oh, five seconds, as I was led on the stage, and I goofed it up as much as I could and even improvised with a door. I was most excellent. In my mind.

However, less about my forthcoming Olivier and more about this somewhat excellent comic play. I quite often find it difficult to write reviews without giving the plot away, however with this show, its giving the jokes away that's the problem. The play itself gives the plot away after all, with a clever running joke and the understudy antics.

Anyway suffice to say, The Play That Goes Wrong more than lives up to its name with the most glorious collection of set problems, acting problems and script problems. This is a play of the most stunning timing, be it verbal or very physical jokes. Almost everything you could imagine happens over the plays duration and quite a bit more.

The cast are nothing short of stunning, the lot of them, as they ham it up in the extreme. Overacting, and hysterical at almost every moment.

Henry Shields channels John Cleese in his most extreme, peaking in his "A Ledger!" scene. Greg Tannahill plays the best dead body you are ever likely to see on stage, while Henry Lewis is a plummy voiced perfection and with a most physical prowess, especially with his balcony shenanigans. Jonathan Sayer as Perkins is quite splendiferous (try that one! *checks hand*).

Dave Hearn mugs it up brilliantly and his reaction to the audience is constantly very funny. Finally Charlie Russell as Sandra it delightful and gorgeous (don't she know it *strike a pose*) as Sandra.

A special mention to the "crew", including the aforementioned Nancy Wallinger, as well as Rob Falconer, the play most certainly, most definitely, wouldn't be the same without you. Also Alys Metcalf, I do not have that CD, I had no idea how I knew it was even missing in the first place.

Anyway, without doubt this is the funniest play that I have seen so far and it was so good I had to relive it again the next day. I was told that some had said that it was a Marmite play, but I find it difficult to comprehend how anyone could dislike it.

I have also never seen an audience react quite as one as they do to this play. The shear amount of applause's during the play was amazing and I have never seen a man physically react to laughter so much as I did when the person next to me almost punched the lady in front of him.

I can safely say that I have had the honour to appear on stage during one of the funniest plays ever and you simply must go and see it.

The Play That Goes Wrong may well have left Northampton, however you have ample opportunity to catch it as it continues to tour the UK before returning to the West End.
http://www.mischieftheatre.co.uk/

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Review of The Last Ship at Royal & Derngate (Derngate), Northampton

When The Last Ship first launched as a musical on Broadway (adapted from a concept album by Sting), it was received with a mixture of reaction, most thoughts though of the negative nature, the critics especially found the whole thing far from shipshape. Here, having launched in its spiritual home of Newcastle, it arrives in very landlocked Northampton on a UK tour in a very different form. Characters have been dropped, songs have been reordered, storylines reworked, and original cast members are gone. So, whether the US audience would have been appreciative of this new The Last Ship is unknown, however, there is an incredible amount to like from this show and on Northampton opening night reactions, the audience here is liking what they see.

Gideon has returned, having taken to the seas 17 years before, leaving his girlfriend Meg behind and a strong and stable shipyard in operation. On his return, things are very different, not least for Meg, who is initially not keen on his return, f…

Review of The Flying Lovers Of Vitebsk at Royal & Derngate (Royal), Northampton

Kneehigh, the Cornwall based theatre company, has created an immense recognition over the 30 years or so they have been formed, and Emma Rice, who directs here, has come out as one of the more recognisable people from the group. Here, with The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk, they, and Rice are in incredible form.

Writer Daniel Jamieson tells us the tale of artist Marc Chagall and his wife Bella as their love blossoms during some of the most turbulent times in history.

This tale, by Jamieson, first saw a life on stage over 25 years ago, back then titled Birthday (the name of a painting by Chagall, which depicts he and his wife doing their "flying"). In the original production, Jamieson played Marc, and Rice played Bella. Now many years later, Rice has taken the original and created a brand new vivid version.

It's easy to fall in love with The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk very early on, as two things occur. The first is as you are seated in the theatre, you become captivated by the…

Review of Cinderella, performed by University Of Northampton BA Actors at Maidwell Hall (Avenue Campus), Northampton

So, this is a bit different, the third year actors (my fifth group of them!) do panto, Cinderella to be precise. Pantomime is my perennial favourite bit of theatre. Oh no, it isn't! However, I have long acknowledged that for an actor, the form is both incredibly important, because if you can entertain kids, you can probably do anything, it also provides a large opening for a regular gig each year as they are so abundant. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the intelligent bods teaching these students have come to the decision to create a little panto action of their own.

This first of three (and the other two are very different beasts, as you will learn from the next reviews) is the ever so traditional one. Formed partly from the work of Looking Glass Theatre and director James Smith, I first saw much of this piece in January 2015, and although I didn't remember a great deal of it after this time, the cheese song managed to flash back to me, perhaps, sadly. So, how do the…