Review: ‘The Play That Goes Wrong’

Play That Goes Wrong EdFringe

As far removed as it is from my usual style, I am going to begin this review with a couple of negatives – for reasons, I’m certain, will become very clear, very quickly.

My first (and main) gripe with this production is something of a ‘pet peeve’ of mine with theatre in general – the lack of any form of programme or cast list (save for paying £5 to purchase a copy of the entire script).

It is my firmly held belief that everyone who puts in the time and effort, on any piece of theatre, deserves for the audience to know who they are. Even scouring the company’s own website does little to resolve this as many of the actors’ photos are listed as “Coming Soon”.

My other slight niggle with this production is one which the company are hardly to blame for but, perhaps, could have done more to address. The venue in which they are performing has very poorly raked seating – which becomes very frustrating when some of the action takes place around floor level. A room full of people desperately craning to try to see what is going on and therefore missing several visual gags feels slightly annoying.

AND THAT IS IT!  You may be forgiven for thinking that these are fairly petty and insignificant gripes – and, you know what, in the grand scheme of things, they absolutely are…because this is, hands down, one of the finest and funniest productions you are EVER likely to see!

The plot sees ‘Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society’ trying desperately to perform it’s production of “Murder At Haversham Manor” whilst, in a farce befitting of comparison to Michael Frayn’s classic “Noises Off”, the adage “everything that can go wrong, will go wrong” has never been more appropriate.

With set and prop gags worthy of Keaton or Chaplin, the actors show phenomenal dexterity and some of the sharpest comic timing I’ve witnessed of late. The descent into chaos was so painfully hilarious that (hence the need to ‘pad out’ this review with the somewhat insignificant grumblings) I could barely see to make any further notes through the tears of laughter streaming relentlessly down my face.

A tweet I sent out immediately after leaving this show really does say all that needs to be said:

“Do as follows:
Step One – but a ticket for ‘The Play That Goes Wrong’
Step Two – watch said show
Step Three – THANK ME!”


Allan Scott-Douglas

  • The Play That Goes Wrong by Mischief Theatre.
  • Pleasance Above (Venue 33), 60 Pleasance, Edinburgh EH8 9TJ
  • 5pm (1hr) until 26th August

Buy Tickets Here

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