Friday, March 1

The Play That Goes Wrong – Manchester Opera House

When going to the theatre, I always love to see a ‘comedy farce’ more than anything else; I enjoy a good drama as much as the next person, but I find that farce comedy just works so well in a theatre environment and there’s one company that stands out above all the rest for being masters of the farce; this is of course the Mischief Theatre Company.

Set up back in 2008 by a group of talented theatre students; This company has had great success on stage and on screen and perhaps their best known production and most successful is; The Play That Goes Wrong which is without doubt the best of farce and currently back at Manchester Opera House for one week only!

The production first debuted in 2012 at The Old Red Lion Theatre in London and now just over a decade later; the original cast have returned to play their iconic roles once again and have since become household names in that time with a BBC TV series and several Christmas TV Specials, building a loyal fan base in the process.

The Manchester Opera house is once again full to the rafters to experience the original ‘Cornley Drama Society’ performers causing havoc to a 1920s style murder mystery!

Photo: Jeremy Daniel

Written by Mischief members Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields; The Play That Goes Wrong is a masterclass in farce comedy.

Directed by Mark Bell, the original cast on stage includes all three writers: Henry Lewis as Robert, Jonathan Sayer as Dennis and Henry Shields as Chris alongside Dave Hearn as Max, Rob Falconer as Trevor, Charlie Russell as Sandra, Greg Tannahill as Jonathan and Nancy Zamit as Annie. There is no question that this cast are outstanding, and you just can’t beat seeing the original cast; their chemistry, their off the cuff reactions and the way they bounce off each other is just exceptional, naturals at farce comedy!

The staging and set design by Nigel Hook looks quite simple being the interior of an old Manor House as its backdrop but the staging and set is so clever and effective, it becomes part of many of the gags with many moving parts and interesting features.

This is a very funny show which you can take a 6-year-old or an 86 year old to with something for everyone; the material is clean but still funny for adults and children alike. It’s a laugh-along show that entertains throughout, a masterclass in comedy at the theatre.

The audience at the Manchester Opera House enjoyed every second, the energy in the auditorium was electric and I think most of the audience had seen the show before and love seeing it time and time again; this production is a future-classic and if you haven’t seen it yet, why not?

Verdict: Hilarious, Captivating & Fun – it doesn’t get better than this!

The Play That Goes Wrong continues at Manchester’s Opera House until the 4th June,

Reviewer: Max Eden

Reviewed: 30th May 2022

North West End UK Rating: ★★★★★