The Play That Goes Wrong Review
The Bristol Hippodrome
Monday 16 July 2018
I laughed until my face ached and my jaw hurt watching The Play That Goes Wrong at The Bristol Hippodrome last night.
This fabulous play about The Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society’s attempt to stage the murder mystery – The Murder at Haversham Manor, is a hysterical blend of The Mousetrap and Fawlty Towers.
Jake Curran’s Inspector Carter immediately made me think of scenes featuring Basil and Lord Melbury in A Touch of Class.
All of the scenarios ring true. I’ve seen many of these incidents happen across a broad spectrum of theatre – though not usually all at once.
I was still laughing at it this morning and every time I think about the portrait of the father hanging over the fireplace, I laugh all over again.
The play really starts at 7.10pm during the audience incoming, so get in there when the auditorium doors open. It starts setting the scene for the chaos to come, making the absent dog and Duran Duran music even funnier.
During the interval, I wondered how far the play could sustain the slapstick and disaster, but Act II runs at a frenetic pace, and come the end, there’s not much left but the actors just about standing on stage.
It’s a brilliant ensemble piece with a marvellous cast and impossible to pick any one person out above the rest.
Nigel Hook’s clever set design is key to much of the funny action, with props and staging collapsing at just the right moment. If anything did go wrong with the play, the audience probably wouldn’t notice anyway. But timing with the set is key and the disaster is perfectly on cue.
The play is suitable for children over the age of 8 years with their families.
It’s so very funny that no matter how bad the traffic jams in the centre, no matter how annoying Bristol City Council has been with their paperwork or that the neighbour’s dog has pooed across the pavement again, you just won’t fail to have a really good time with this show.
It’s on a UK tour and playing at The Bristol Hippodrome until Saturday 21 July 2018
To book: www.atgtickets.com/Bristol
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