6th February 2018
Writing: Anokh Tiwana-Parmar (Year 10)
Photography: Helen Murray
Editing: Ollie Ensor (Year 10)
GCSE Drama students were offered the exciting opportunity to visit the Waterside Theatre in Aylesbury this February, to watch the currently touring Play That Goes Wrong. With high expectations, having watched the TV adaptations of Peter Pan Goes Wrong and A Christmas Carol Goes Wrong, we were quite eager to see this comedy played out on the stage.
What was so remarkable about this show was the set the touring company travelled with. The cast had plenty of ways to interact with the colourful scenery, and this augmented the humour of the script.
*The Play That Goes Wrong was the first play in the Mischief Theatre's line-up when they were founded five years ago. The company's ensemble are LAMDA graduates, and have won several prestigious awards, with their shows now set to run on Broadway and in Australia. The talent of the company was plain to see: the professionalism and energy of the performance was startlingly impressive.
We were able to secure seats close to the stage. I personally had a view into the wings and close up to where all the action was going on. It was great to see the acting so close, scrutinising the actors as they tried to get through the play, while everything around them was going wrong.
Despite the many mishaps, the show had a coherent and enjoyable storyline. Through their use of physical theatre, props and the whole set, the actors were able to make the 'mistakes' look convincingly real, and the increasing audacity of the show had the entire theatre in fits.
I particularly liked the character of the Inspector, who also played the part of the show's director, apologising for the performance and getting increasingly angry with his cast. During the interval he even interacted with the audience - and later blamed us for all the show's troubles. His timing was wonderful and we, for a while, believed the show really was going wrong!
As the show became more and more silly and perhaps debatably predictable in it’s repetitive nature, we anticipated the collapse of the set and sure enough the show ended with the collapse of everything, a homage to Buster Keaton’s ‘Steamboat Bill, jr.’
From over-long lighting cues to Duran Duran-related musical 'incidents', as well as an unfortunate accident with a bottle of whisky, it's easy to see why The Play That Went Wrong has received five star reviews from the critics. I found myself reflecting on the performance for a long time afterwards, marvelling at the clever writing and the brilliance of the actors.