Find us on Facebook
Her Majesty’s Theatre, Wed 29 Mar.
This is not a play that eventually goes slightly off the rails. Everything goes comically wrong pretty much from the outset and continues to do so as the evening unfolds. In fact it pays to be a little early to watch stage technicians haplessly trying to fix apparent last minute problems with the sets.
The stage lights come up before the cast is ready, and this leads to the curtain coming down before the play has even started. Whether it was an added ploy for opening night or a regular part of the show there did seem to be some concern that there were technical issues to be resolved before the play could even begin.
When it eventually gets going, there are some very funny jokes from Chris Bean as the President of Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society, and Director of the play which is to follow. The play itself, The Murder At Haversham Manor, never rises above the silliness of a Cluedo-type murder mystery, but the laughs come thick and fast from the frenetic and highly inventive slapstick humour.
This is aided and abetted by a brilliant set design – doors that either open or fail to open at the most inopportune moments; wall fittings that fall off at regular intervals but remain fixed when least expected. Most impressive of all, a mezzanine study that partially collapses, creating several comic possibilities. Every stage prop is there for a reason, and that reason is to inadvertently create a laugh when something goes wrong.
As well as some star turns from the actors on stage, we also have two pseudo cast members in stage manager Annie Twilloil trying desperately to hold the set together, but also standing in for the female lead when things go wrong, and lighting and sound operator Trevor Watson who from over in his sound booth and also unexpected appearances on stage, manages also to get things wrong with humorous results.
For the price of a ticket you won’t get to see great art or ground breaking theatre. What you will get is two hours of hilarity and a tremendous sense of fun.
The Play That Goes Wrong continues at Her Majesty’s Theatre at various times until Sun 2 Apr
Book at BASS on 131 246 or as bass.net.au. Click HERE to purchase your tickets.