The Play That Goes Wrong – Manchester Review

I’ve seen this fantastic show before and was really looking forward to seeing it again this year. The Play That Goes Wrong is in Manchester now until Saturday 4th June. For more information and for tickets see here.

I was invited the their press night performance earlier this week but unfortunately I couldn’t go as I’m in Center Parcs with the kids. My brother and his friend jumped at the chance to check it out, here’s his review below.

Mischief Theatre was founded in 2008 by a group of LAMDA students. Since then the company has written and performed in the West End all over the world including the well known The Comedy of a Bank Robber and Grown Ups.

Written by Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields, The Play That Goes Wrong won Best New Comedy at the 2015 Laurence Olivier Awards. One of the writers, Jonathan Sayer is originally from Manchester, he even went to my school!

The Play That Goes Wrong is a classic 1920’s whodunnit play- a murder in a country manor and the local inspector must find the murderer. The Cornley Drama society seem more accident prone than professional actors! Right from the off is full of moments of slapstick and terribly funny, ridiculous puns.

‘The play that goes wrong…went right in so many ways.
A standing ovation just before the curtains closed was more than expected for the original cast of the Mischief Theatre performing their extremely successful ‘The play that goes wrong’ which is now performed over 40 countries worldwide. Yet for first time viewers like myself this show lived up to expectation, delivered and deservedly had the audience in applaud.
An evening that didn’t start so well personally, with a pre theatre meal at a Spanish restaurant on Deansgate ended up with a sore stomach not from the food but from the constant laughter of the play. The meal went from one calamity to the next and shared many likenesses to the play itself, it could even be described as ‘the meal that goes wrong’.
All was soon forgotten once we entered the Manchester Opera House and sat down with a beer. The audience seemed to get more than their money’s worth as several of the cast were already in character walking within the crowds offering an interactive performance well before the 7.30 start time.
The early laughs that came before the lights went down to signal the start of the show seemed to grow louder and only stopped during the interval. Just before the break came one of the highlights of the play when four characters get stuck in a repetitive dialogue each time building up the comic affect and got the biggest laugh and applaud of the night.
The play was a fantastic performance for the whole family to enjoy, which was made clear a hit with many children still wide awake at the end laughing along well past their bed time.
All the cast were fantastic, but a nod to Jonathan Sayer aka Charles Haversham who was brilliant throughout and even his characters accent was enough to get the laughs going.
A play for everyone and a classic in the theatres for years to come.

Michael Anderson, Theatre goer.

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