Review | The Play That Goes Wrong | Opera House, Manchester

Review | The Play That Goes Wrong | Opera House, Manchester


I remember the first time I caught a glimpse at The Play That Goes Wrong – they performed a 20 minute version on the Royal Variety Performance many years ago. That clip has been the most rewatched clip on my Youtube, as I instantly fell in love with the style, comedy and all-around entertainment that it gave me. Since then I’ve been dying to see this production, and the UK tour cast certainly lived up to my high expectations.

After meeting at LAMDA while training, Mischief Theatre company’s founders Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields’ love of comedy was the catalyst for this incredible award-winning show, which has toured internationally and is still owning it’s West End home for four years.

Mark Bell’s direction of the show is one that allows the audience to be silly and laugh at childish moments. Using slapstick comedy in every element of the show is tremendous, and there’s never a dull moment on stage.

The Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society presents the Murder at Haversham Manor, but sadly things don’t seem to be going to plan from the get-go. With a set that keeps falling apart, lots of faulty electricals and a not to confident cast, will director Chris Bean’s directing debut be ruined.

I have to mention first the creative and smart set that the talented Nigel Hook has created. The details were remarkable.

The small cast of talented performers all deserved the standing ovation, and the teamwork between them was outstanding.

Jake Curran’s performance as the perfectionist director and lead star Chris Bean left the audience crying with laughter. The interaction with the audience was terrific, and he commented on the fact that “This is not a pantomime” even though there was a moment of “It’s behind you.”

The real star of the show was Max, played by Bobby Hirston. After every line, Hirston would turn to the audience with a goofy smile, almost overwhelmed by the fact that he was on stage. His multiple characters and the quick costume changes left the audience in stitches.

Throughout the show, we were reminded that stage manager Trevor, played by Gabriel Paul, had lost his Duran Duran CD and that Winston the dog was still missing. The fact that we could hear the stage manager talking on the tannoy throughout just added to the comedy.

While everything around them is falling apart – literally – the classic line of “The show must go on” resonated between all characters.

If you want to see a show that will have you laughing before it’s even started, you need to watch The Play That Goes Wrong. It is a remarkable show that needs to be enjoyed by all.

The Play That Goes Wrong is at Manchester’s Opera House until Saturday 30th June, and information and tickets can be found here.


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