The Play That Goes Wrong
The Play That Goes Wrong
Nancy Stevens, MKFM’s Arts Correspondent had more than her funny bone tickled at Mischief Theatre's The Play That Goes Wrong which chaotically arrives at Milton Keynes Theatre, and from the moment the curtain does not go up, the stage is already set – and things go horribly wrong. A stage hand, Trevor (Graeme Rooney) is on stage with the Stage Manager, Annie Twilloil (Katie Bernstein) lamenting the loss of his Duran Duran CD while frantically trying to rectify the technical issues that should have been resolved before curtain-up. In fact, should have been rectified six weeks earlier in tech rehearsal...
The Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society present Murder at Haversham Manor and each character is a caricature of themselves.
- stage is set - or not - by the egotistical director and star of the show, Chris Bean (a brilliant Patrick Warner) who is an amalgamation of Basil Fawlty, Trigger from ‘Only Fools’ and ‘Inspector Clouseau’. The cast consists of the femme fatale, Clire Rice (Natasha Culley) who overacts, postures, preens and generally behaves in a wholly inappropriate manner considering her fiancé Jonathan (a hugely expressive Jason Callender) has just been murdered. This is no surprise, considering she was carrying on a not-so-clandestine affair with his brother Max (a scene-stealing Alastair Kirton). bungling Billy Bunter character, Robert, is played by Edward Judge who reminded me of James Corden in One Man, Two Guvnors.
This production was a like murder mystery on acid, and the chaos that ensues makes for constant hilarity, as props are not where they should be, lines are forgotten, repeated, or delivered in the wrong order; corpses end up ‘corpsing’, and the set literally falls down around their ears, to the point of being dangerous. The leading lady is replaced by the SM, as she had been knocked out and thrown unceremoniously out of a window.
The standout actor is cricket-sweater-clad Max, whose overacting, hamming up and constant vying for attention from the audience had us in stitches, as did Trevor, the deadpan Scots stagehand who bungled the lighting and sound.
I have been in some truly terrible am-dram productions in my time, and have to take responsibility for occasionally missing my cue, forgetting my lines and corpsing when I really should have been playing dead, and having to deal with moving scenery - but making it look this bad, really is an art form which even I haven’t perfected!
The sheer brilliance of this play within a play is the ‘show must go on’ attitude of the cast. You are forced to suspend belief at the sheer idiocy of the shambles of this play; you are willing them to remember their lines, but also hoping that another disaster will prevail, thus providing yet more belly laughs. The sheer physicality of some of the downright dangerous stunts was all down to split-second timing.
Even the programme keeps in character with the inane biographies of the cast and some of the – erm - how I shall say this - inadequately cast shows such as Snow White and The Tall Broad Gentlemen, James and the Peach, Two Sisters and Cat.
The audience was in paroxysms of laughter almost throughout, and one of the gentlemen of the press next to me was in danger of suffering a coronary.
I cannot wait to see Mischief Theatre’s other offerings of hilarity in the form of Peter Pan Goes Wrong and The Comedy about a Bank Robbery.
Side-splittingly, face-achingly humorous – a comedy must-see.
The Play That Goes Wrong is on at Milton Keynes Theatre till 18th March.
Red Bull Racing: Max Verstappen starts Bahrain Grand Prix on pole position
Red Bull Racing's Max Verstappen will start tomorrow's Bahrain Grand Prix on pole position after a close-fought qualifying session on Friday (1st March).
81% of children in Milton Keynes receive first choice secondary school place
Thousands of MK pupils find out today (1 March) which secondary school they’ll be moving to in September.
Council partners with Milton Keynes College to increase free access to adult numeracy courses
Milton Keynes City Council has teamed up with MK College to expand local access to free adult numeracy classes.
Results place Milton Keynes primary school in top 2% of England’s primaries
A Milton Keynes primary school has received a letter from the Minister for Schools for its very high standard of achievement in the key stage 2 reading, writing and mathematics assessment.
Huge power cut affects Central Milton Keynes
MKFM understands Central Milton Keynes is currently being affected by a power cut.
Steve Edwards to complete 1000th marathon at Milton Keynes
A marathon runner is set to complete his 1000th marathon in Milton Keynes this May.
IKEA Milton Keynes support Medical Detection Dogs with donation of items
IKEA Milton Keynes has made a donation of items to Medical Detection Dogs, to help the local charity's vital funds go towards training its 'Super Sniffer' pups.
Milton Keynes Festival of Running returns this March
The MK Festival of Running hits the streets of Milton Keynes again on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17th 2024.
Work begins on major regeneration of Milton Keynes estate
Work is underway to deliver Milton Keynes’ first regeneration project on the Lakes Estate in Bletchley.
Christian Horner remains at Red Bull Racing after internal investigation
Christian Horner will remain as CEO and Team Principal of Red Bull Racing, with an internal investigation into his behaviour towards a female employee concluded.
142 illegal vapes seized from shops in Milton Keynes
142 illegal vapes and 49 illegal tobacco products were seized from shops in Milton Keynes.
New NHS campaign launched to encourage people to get help with common mental health problems
A new campaign has been launched in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes to inform local people about dedicated NHS services which can help with common mental health problems.