I can honestly say that this is the most hilarious pieces of theatre that I have ever seen. So if you are in for a busy Monday and don’t have time to read the whole review – DO NOT MISS THIS SHOW !
The “Play That Goes Wrong” was first staged in London. After winning the Olivier Award for Best New Comedy in 2015, it has been licensed to perform in 20 other countries. Luckily for us Steve Stead took the plunge and obtained a licence.
The play opens on the “Berea Amateur Dramatic Society’s” first night of their rendition of a murder mystery titled “Murder at Havesham Manor”. The story – of a double murder in a manor house, an illicit love affair, a corrupt policeman and a geriatric butler – is not the story. The story is about how the amateur actors adapt to both the failings of the set and their fellow actors. They are all good but I must single out Iain Robinson as being particularly convincing in his role.
Cellphone Man is scripted out of the production so the acting begins immediately.The first light onto the stage sets the scene – a set that is not altogether ready. The play unravels in a very similar way to the start of a Hobie Cat Race off Durban – at the five minute gun things start getting interesting and between the one minute signal and the start absolute mayhem ensues.
The set is ingenious in that it is designed to fail. A stand out piece is a ‘cantilevered’ floor ( the study ) set above the main stage. James Cunningham’s antics on this is one of the funniest scenes of the play. It is fitting that the Production Credits includes “Stage Refurbishment” – Greg King and Wendy Henstock are going to be absolutely exhausted by the 29th of April.
This production requires the cast to extend themselves by including stunting and acrobatics into their craft. Liesel Coppin is sure to have more bruises than Julius Malema after his evictions from Parliament. And by the end of the run Daisy Spenser will be able to give a MMA fighter a good drubbing – some of her fight moves are positively devastating.
I hope that KickstArt’s insurers and ‘Health and Safety’ Advisors don’t get wind of what happens on stage; if they do they will be sure to try and temper the mayhem.
If I was a betting man I would wager the money I have saved for a new mainsail on one or more of the cast making a visit to a doctor, or worse – the emergency room at one of the local hospitals.
The standing ovation that the cast richly deserve is a whole hearted affair – not one of those slow Mexican wave types, where Cellphone Man’s Mum leaps up exhorting everyone else to join in; this is the real deal: everyone ( even the youngster with a cast on his leg ) immediately got to their feet to applaud the cast for a job well done.
Thank you to Director Steven Stead for taking this bold step – it was an absolute treat !
And if you are one of those busy people who read the last line of an email first :