This isn’t a sponsored post.
BrumHour was invited to see The Play That Goes Wrong by Birmingham Hippodrome.
For Brum Radio’s Interval Theatre, Dave Massey spoke to Gabriel Paul about his role as Trevor in The Play That Goes Wrong. Listen here:
By George Elsmere-Whitney twitter.com/caramellattekiss
Review: The Play That Goes Wrong at Birmingham Hippodrome
Co-written by Henry Shields, Jonathan Sayer, Henry Lewis
There’s been a bit of a mix-up. A clerical error has caused The RSC’s production of Equus to be performed in the Cornley Polytechnical Gymnasium, while the Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society has found themselves touring the UK with their production of The Murder At Haversham Manor. First-time director and society president, Chris Bean, is confident they’re ready for this upgrade, but unfortunately for Chris and his cast, everything that can go wrong in a theatre production does go wrong, from missed lines to a fame-hungry stage manager.
Created by Mischief, The Play That Goes Wrong is a play within a play, following the hapless actors as they desperately try to live that old theatre truth; “the show must go on,” as chaos unfolds around them.
From start to finish, the show is an absolute riot, as the cast lurches from disaster to disaster. The Play That Goes Wrong takes a (loving) swipe at the industry, poking fun at actors, techs, and of course, amateur dramatics. Anyone who has had the misfortune to have to sit through their mother’s am-dram productions will recognise all the characters on stage and probably many of the mishaps too.
The cast are all spectacular, with wonderful comedic timing and hilarious physical comedy. A particular stand-out for me is Gabriel Paul’s mischievous technician, Trevor, who misses cues, blasts the wrong music, and ends up on stage. Paul’s take is so accurate that I know several real technicians who should probably sue for defamation of character. Tom Bulpett’s Chris Beane begins the show as the classic pompous director who is, naturally, also the lead part, but becomes increasingly unhinged as he desperately tries to keep his show on track. Bulpett had the audience in tears of laughter during one memorable scene where he breaks down over a lost prop and ends in a hysterical send-up of pantomime call-and-response.
The ingenious staging allows for a series of increasingly nonsensical mistakes to occur, including stuck doors, portraits crashing down on actors below, and mixed up props. Nigel Hook’s set design is masterful, as is the split-second timing of the cast and technical crew, who allow all these ‘mistakes’ to happen safely and appear completely accidental.
Fans of the theatre are sure to love this chaotic, hilarious show. I laughed until my sides hurt. The Play That Goes Wrong truly brings the house down.
The Play That Goes Wrong is at Birmingham Hippodrome until Saturday 30th October. The current UK tour continues until 27th November 2021. See any upcoming dates here: mischiefcomedy.com
Find out more about George Elsmere-Whitney through her own lifestyle blog at caramellattekiss.com.