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  • Review by john Murray

The Play That Goes Wrong - nightly

It’s been called ‘an unexpected hit’ and won the Olivier Award in 2015 and even took Broadway by storm so what is The Play That Goes Wrong all about? We even had a sketch on the Royal Variety Show to tease us into the whole concept of this original new comedy.

It is a comedy and a spoof of all those amateur shows we constantly see from the many groups still operating around the country. I expect many members of these groups and societies would love this and have similar stories to tell. The on stage announcement that the cast equalled the number of members in the Comely Polytechnic Drama Society will resonate with our own beloved local equivalents and all too true. The irony here is that the show producers Mischief Theatre was founded in 2008 by graduates of the London Academy who first ventured into an intimate 60 seat fringe venue in London and then the Edinburgh Fringe. Who would have thought in 2018 they would be running in the West End and Broadway along with 20 other productions worldwide.

The setting is for the play Murder At Haversham Manor and is very much in the tradition of the well worn Mousetrap type plays. There’s been a murder alright and then the comedy kicks in with everything going wrong from actors being knocked out, script forgotten and slapstick galore. The late Sir Brian Rix was the master of this but his sets were perfect; in this play the set creates many belly laughs and jaw dropping moments as it falls apart at various stages. With so much interactive dialogue it is so difficult to single out individual cast members but admirable to note understudy David Kristopher-Brown became Dennis on the night we attended. Blending farce with stunts is an amazing concept that has spawned yet more spinoffs while this one will go on and on. The audience were roaring with laughter and gasping at the break downs while the timing was spot on.

Festival Theatre Edinburgh till March 17

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