Skip to main content

Review of The Play That Goes Wrong at the Duchess Theatre, London

A play has to be doing something right if you go to see it three times, the third of which involves travelling to London to do so. Either its superb, or this viewer is a little weird. Fortunately we have the situation where both of those statements are correct.

The Play That Goes Wrong is nothing short of one of the funniest plays, indeed anything you could ever wish to see. Having seen it twice in Northampton in two days, the opportunity to see it in the big city and its new home (maybe for sometime to come?) at the Duchess Theatre was too much to miss.

With its new home in the capital came an added confidence from the show. If anything it felt more solid, funnier, and more polished. It certainly hadn't settled on its laurels of its huge touring success. There were a selection of added jokes, slightly bolder staging moments and a slightly increased interplay with the hysterical audience.

I have had the pleasure of seeing over 50 plays this year and there is no question that this has been the one that the audience has responded the greatest to. People of all ages have laughed as one at this show and what I have also seen is the willingness of family trips for this show. This play drifts effortlessly across the generations with its audience. I have sat in rows with mother and daughter, grandfathers and grandsons like no other I have seen.

Your dear writer also took that bold step of taking his father to see the play. He who had not been in a theatre for years (decades in fact). This is a play that has no embarrassment, no bad language (well certainly a façade of no bad language), nothing that would make you squirm as you sat next to your father, mother or granny.

The cast of ten from Mischief Theatre are nothing short of sublime. Their timing, their performances, simply everything is manna from heaven. There are no famous faces here (not yet), just a cast of unknowns who create a show that a bevy of award winners would envy in the extreme.

Tonight sees the press night for the play and there is no question that this show will get a shed load of fives stars. There is absolutely no reason that given the chance, you should see this show. In fact never mind given a chance, you need to see it. Perhaps if you have never been to the theatre ever, or for a long time, this should be the one you should see. Although I must warn you, you may have to wait for a while to see a funnier show.

Rating 5/5 - A chaotic feast of hilarious delight.

Performance reviewed: Thursday 11th September, 2014 at the Duchess Theatre, London.

For my original review of The Play That Goes Wrong click here.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

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 …

Review of Blood Brothers at Royal & Derngate (Derngate), Northampton

A theatre in the east midlands, a thousand people stand applauding and cheering towards a stage where fourteen people stand. There on the stage, they bow, and bow, an inordinate number of times. They depart after a time and the lights come up over the capacity audience.

So did you hear the story of the Blood Brothers show, how people flocked and came to see them play?
Did you never hear about how we came to be, standing applauding the brightly lit stage this November day?
Come judge for yourselves how this night did come to be.

Blood Brothers was a significant show for me back in 2014, being the first musical that I saw live. Hiding up in the upper circle of the Derngate back then, not really sure what to expect, it was it turned out perhaps the perfect show to graduate me from play to musical that I could choose as Willy Russell's gritty and solid story is as confident as a straight play that perhaps any musical is. So strong is the story of the Johnstone's twins, that it liv…