The secret to comedy is, unquestionably, timing. This timing tells one when to say the punch-line, when to raise the eye brow and when to land the punch. However, true comic timing is as precious as it is rare; found only among a small, gifted few. It’s just convenient that all these people appear to have got together and written a play.
‘The Play That Goes Wrong’ is comedic chaos; from the moment the director walks on stage, rather, apologetically introducing The Murder at Havisham Hall they have the audience in the palm of their hand. The cast, however, are the production’s primary weapon. All of whom are on fire for the entirety of the play, producing blisteringly funny performance. Every glass smash, every painting fall, every door to the face is timed to within an inch of its life.
It is easy to forget in such a physical play that there is a script tying it all together; but, there is, and the script is sublime. Yet, its focus and brilliance is that it dictates that none of the actors, despite the myriad of problems they face, ever allow the silliness to get on top of them. Each is determined to make the play work and become a hit. Therefore, we are treated to a host of eye rolls, palms to faces, and bewildered glances as the cast manically attempt to turn the clock into the fainted woman they so desperately need it to be.
However, I use the term comedic chaos both in a good and bad definition. For, there is the occasional moment when the screaming, smashing and seduction takes control of the stage, and forces the audience into a state of delirious confusion.
The play, in that sense, is like a runaway train: pulling the audience along its mad-cap, Python-esque, plot; and, given its prolonged run and packed house, it would appear the public are rather keen to join them for the anarchic ride.
Review by Ollie Clark
The Play That Goes Wrong
Running Time: 2 Hours 5 Minutes
Age Restrictions: Suitable for ages 8+
Show Opened: 5th Sep 2014
Booking Until: 14th February 2016
Telephone Bookings 020 7492 1602
Evenings: Wednesday to Saturday 7.30pm, Sunday 7.00pm
Matinees: Thursday and Saturday 2.30pm, and Sunday 3.00pm
Saturday 18th July 2015