At the Sydney Theatre The Play That Goes Wrong finished its run but came back for another week in mid-May. This hysterical slapstick farce, which has just opened on Broadway, has been a big hit in the West End. It started as a small show and has had audiences raving now for more than three years.
The show commences as you settle into your seats and the cast and crew are searching the auditorium for the cast dog, Winston. This sets up the atmosphere for the evening’s first performance from The Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society “Murder at Haversham Manor”.
Needless to say, the next two hours and five minutes are filled with pratfalls, missed lines, actors being knocked out and, eventually, the entire set collapsing. It is non-stop laughter at times reaching hysteria, and great fun for the audience. As someone who was involved in amateur dramatics in my early teaching years in rural areas and later in Sydney I can attest to the veracity of the different situations but thankfully never within the one show.
The Play That Goes Wrong has an excellent Australian cast, with one member from the original London cast, James Marlowe, who is outstanding. The same company that originated the show, The Mischief Theatre Company, has already developed two more hits in London, The Comedy About a Bank Robbery which I saw and loved, and Peter Pan Goes Wrong which adds the pantomime element.