REVIEW: The Play That Goes Wrong at The Alexandra Birmingham

Some might say that it’s quite an unusual concept to sit in a show expecting everything to go wrong, but that’s what award-winning Mischief Theatre do best.

AD: Press night / gifted tickets


It’s got to be said that it takes a lot of skill to put on a show where pretty much everything needs to go wrong in order to be right, but to make it side-splittingly funny at the same time is masterclass theatre at a whole new level.

For years now Mischief Theatre has dominated the stage and screen with its brilliantly creative productions. With two shows currently on the road, The Play That Goes Wrong encapsulates everything that Mischief is about: carefully curated chaos with an abundance of laughter.

The Play That Goes Wrong made its debut at Old Red Lion Theatre in London in 2012 and has gone on to become one of Mischief’s most highly talked about shows yet, picking up global recognition both in the West End and Broadway, alongside a strong collection of awards consisting of an Olivier Award for Best New Comedy.

The Play That Goes Wrong runs at The Alexandra, Birmingham until Saturday, May 21

The premise of the show is easy to follow; The Cornley Drama Society are putting on a very special production of a 1920s murder mystery, but in true Mischief fashion, the play doesn’t go quite as planned.

Before the curtain’s even up chaos is already beginning to unfold. All show posters are turned upside down, two members of the stage company were having an argument in the lobby as we made our way to our seats, another was looking for a lost dog named Winston, and pieces of the set were being held in place by an audience member before being taped back up.

From that point on, everything only gets worse. Lines begin to be dropped, props fall off and get and pieces of the set begin to become a nuisance. Yet within the absolute whirlwind of nonsense, it’s impossible not to find yourself in fits of laughter; I’m talking proper belly laughs until your stomach hurts laughter.

The cast of The Play That Goes Wrong

The whole thing is brilliantly clever, even if it is a carefully planned disaster waiting to happen. An absolute testament both to the writers, and the actors, who are showing a true skill in delivering comedic timing to ensure that everything that should go wrong does, without the audience even second-guessing it, it doesn’t take much to understand why The Play That Goes Wrong has earned its spot as one of Mischief’s most successful shows.

At points it is the cast that is indeed carrying the show; banter with the audience would lead some to believe that Mischief specialises in panto humour with its slapstick approach, but it’s far from it, The Play That Goes Wrong is in a league of its own, but you have to see it to witness the bedlam for yourself.

The Play That Goes Wrong runs at The Alexandra until Saturday, May 21. Click here to find out more and book your tickets.

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