Thursday, March 9, 2017
The Play That Goes Wrong
It's slapstick. It's physical comedy. Doors slamming, pictures falling down, Sets falling down. Props switched, missing, and used incorrectly. It's a mad-cap evening with this play within a play. You're supposed to be there to watch a small fledgling theatre troupe put on a play entitled Murder at the Havesaham Manor. What ensues is nothing short of complete mix ups and mayhem. Actors get knocked out. Sets fall apart and literally collapse with actors atop them. The elevator literally explodes and that damn front door just won't stay closed.
The actors in this play within a play are true hams. It doesn't hurt that the book writers also star in their own madcap comedy. Sound guy Trevor (Rob Falconer) could care less about his job and it shows. Jonathan Sayer (book) takes a role as Max the butler with hysterical results. Henry Lewis (book) takes on a role as the outrageous brother Robert. Henry Shields (book) takes on the role of Chris. Nancy Zamit (Annie) a backstage gal does battle with Charlie Russell (Sandra) the onstage actress to see who will be standing to play the role of the heroine. There are a few other cast members but if there was ever the case that an ensemble needed to hang it all together, this is the one.
All in all it's a Noises Off kind of comedy - extremely physical where timing is key. On the first public performance here in the USA, this British sensation was banging on all cylinders. When the curtain comes down (along with the set) you'll find yourself just as exhausted as the actors from all the hilarity and laughter.
For some it may be a bit over the top but I'm going to guess if you don't like this kind of play you won't be buying a ticket anyway. There's an audience for this kind of play and I suspect they will show up at the theater to see what could possibly go wrong.