Photo – Jeff Busby
Friday night at the magnificent Concert Hall in the QPAC complex, I’m sitting with my partner and wondering what the night will reveal. Friday night is ‘murder mystery’ night, however I am usually plumped in front of tele, bemoaning the fact that we are too far away from anywhere to go out and why should one bother? Not tonight, though...
For all those burgeoning thespians among us; for all those people who have, at one time, embraced amateur theatre in any way, shape or form, be it a school drama or a dabbling with adult theatrical endeavours, this is the play for YOU. Oh yes. For all those misplaced props; for the timing that seemed to run out of time; for the line you forgot, or that missed cue (the cue that half the cast were waiting on, so they could proceed with their next delivery) well, this will bring back those emotional (hysterical) moments. For the time that you may, at one stage, have been placed as a tree in a school play and, by some freak series of events, got bumped off the back of the stage, falling into the props box and not being discovered until the play was over (I knew, one day, I could get that memory exorcised, thanks) then this is DEFINITELY the play.
Slapstick, cornball and never a chance to catch breath, the audience were screeching with laughter from the get-go as the evening’s entertainment did not let up for one moment. How do the actors remember those lines and keep up the pace? Physical theatre in motion, these actors are everywhere and nowhere, all at the same time. If they are not swanning around and overacting to crescendo point, they are sliding down props or catching nuances that, well, you had to be there, what can I say? The choreographed chaos keeps you on the edge of your seat, laughing to crying point and wondering what can go wrong next? Everything!
The beauty of this play is that truly, if the actors did get it wrong, who would know? But they get it so-right, from the award winning writers (Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields) to the directors, producers, designers, music, costume, lighting, and all the cast (too profound to name everyone – know that you are all genius!) etcetera etcetera.
Catastrophe after catastrophe makes for huge belly laughs, and like the Three Stooges, Laurel and Hardy and the Keystone Cops (real laughter from ‘yesteryear’) these old Vaudevillian antics still crack a laugh from an appreciative audience. They were leaving the Concert Hall with tears of laughter still streaming down their faces: I was wise enough not to wear mascara.
At one point, Chris (Nick Simpson-Deeks) playing the role of Inspector Carter and Director, says, “Stop laughing, this isn’t television, I CAN HEAR YOU...” and I was reminded, at an instant, that not only are all these actors stupendously funny, they can read my mind, too!
The Play That Goes Wrong works on every comic element that can possibly garner a laugh or a reaction – a rollicking rollercoaster of a ride, so buy your ticket and get on board. Oh, and don’t forget to purchase a programme if you want to be even more confused of who’s who in this theatrical zoo – it just gets better and better...
Lunchbox Theatrical Productions, Kenny Wax Ltd and Stage Presence in association with ABA International Touring and David Atkins Enterprises present the Mischief Theatre Company production
The Play That Goes Wrong
Director Mark Bell
Venue: Concert Hall, QPAC, Corner of Grey & Melbourne Streets, South Bank
Dates: from 4 May 2017
Venue: His Majesty’s Theatre, 825 Hay Street, Perth
Dates: from 31 May 2017