This is a compelling production that nails the humour and so makes it work exceptionally well.
The plot sees the amateur dramatic club Cornley Polytechnic Society looking to recover from some previous mishaps by staging a production of a 1920s murder mystery. The central play is a fairly straight forward, where four actors walk into a room to find their host has been murdered, that one of them is the killer, and they have to figure out in case he strikes again.
In the play we watch, everything starts going wrong. From a stage that’s falling apart even before things get going, to little things like the man playing the deceased getting sat on or getting his hand trod on seen even at the beginning!
The play is a highly amusing farce. It brings with it both mishaps you could see coming, and ones that go in a completely unexpectedly demented direction, and that is what makes it all fit together.
The actors in it and their “the show must go on” attitude make the play too. It almost doesn’t matter they have to drink white spirit as someone lost the whiskey, or someone’s forgotten dialogue leading to a loop of the same scene, or the sound guy is playing Duran Duran instead of dramatic stings, or that the female lead has been knocked out and a stagehand is standing in while reading the script, the show must go on and it does!.
The show’s director loses a prop and has a Fawlty Towers type moment when despairing over his play going so badly. This is certain a memorable moment for me, and the cast gamely gives it all and puts in a great group performance to convey really bad actors. The stage set takes on a role as a character, picking excellently timed moments to fall apart.
As the play nears its end, it is full of jokes and the set enters its final disintergration . It is hard to keep up to be honest.
The Play That Goes Wrong is very amusing and I recommend it.
Tickets are on sale now and available from the Box Office, by calling 0844 871 7649 or visiting www.atgtickets.com/stoke
Running time: 2 hrs 5 mins including a 20 minute interval.
Recommended Age: 8+.
2015 Olivier Award Winner for Best New Comedy.
2015 Broadway World UK Winner for Best New Play.