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 Bombshell by Contact Light Theatre at The Playhouse Theatre, Northampton

Warning: This review contains spoilers

Whether it is an overwhelming success or mostly a failure, I have over the years grown a huge affinity for fresh new work on the stage. The need to regurgitate and rework old pieces continuously may well get easy bums on seats, but at the end of the night, it has no doubt pleased a few but it hasn't really made any future impact on theatre of the future. Presenting a new play and new work, however, who knows what it might have seeded in the years to come?

Therefore as I watched Bombshell, not only a new play, but also the first offering from a new theatre company, I was thrilled that first of all, it leaned much more towards the success line, and also that over half filling the theatre, it had also put quite a few of the bums on seats as well.

Curiously I have recently read Festen by David Eldridge, and while Bombshell goes much its own way, I felt early on, I (and perhaps others in the audience), felt I had a distinct advantage over some of …

Review of Balm in Gilead, University of Northampton BA Acting (Creative Acting) at Maidwell Hall, Northampton

Watching the production of Balm in Gilead sees my entering the fifth year of following the University of Northampton acting students, and what theatre they have provided over the years!

Balm in Gilead is no less intriguing than anything that has gone before, written in 1965 by Lanford Wilson, you might think this would be a dated item for the young students to be performing, however, nothing could be further from the truth. Set in a cafe (transposed to England from its original American setting), it sees the lives of addicts, homeless and sex workers converge into a mixture of good but mostly bad moments.
My first time in the Maidwell Hall saw an encounter with a brilliantly realised community full of the world of the cafe and the surrounding homes, cardboard boxes and dishevelled beds. As we enter the characters of this world begin living alongside us, addressing us, begging us for money, pushing shopping trolleys around offering off the cuff exchanges with the audience and confronti…

Review of This Evil Thing at Royal & Derngate (Royal), Northampton

This Evil Thing written and performed by Michael Mears isn't my first encounter with a play about conscientious objectors, however, it absolutely is the most detailed in its explanation of the subject. A clear and absolute labour of love from Michael Mears, and an obviously very personal thing for him, it leaves the audience pretty much in its grip for the whole of its 80 minutes.

Almost uniquely, our performer Michael Mears is in the theatre stalls upon entry, observing the arrival of the audience and indeed exchanging conversation at times. It's fascinating to see a performer not only there, but seemingly so relaxed pre-show and as he bounds on the stage at show start, this little nugget proves intriguing in itself.

Michael Mears is a captivating presence on stage, as previously experienced on the same stage in A Tale Of Two Cities and The Herbal Bed, therefore it comes as little surprise that he has a confident ability to make a one-man show work, and so well. With the use …