REVIEW: The Play That Goes Wrong, Kings Theatre, Southsea until September 29

The Play That Goes Wrong
The Play That Goes Wrong

It’s just possible that The Play That Goes Wrong is even better on second and third viewings.

First time round you can barely breathe you are laughing so much; subsequent times you can let your mind be boggled by the astonishing skill with which the cast create total chaos.

The gist is that we are watching The Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society stage a 1920s murder mystery. The problem is that The Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society are absolutely awful, their intentions way ahead of their woeful abilities. Worse still, they seem to have angered the theatrical gods who are utterly determined to undermine their every word, their every move.

The set comes alive with tumbling pictures, a misbehaving mantlepiece, misplaced props, weather effects which are distinctly underwhelming,… and that’s before things really deteriorate in a second half which pretty much brings the house down.

Amid it all, the actors stumble, muddling their lines, missing their cues, thwarted at every turn. The result is hilarious… that kind of hilarious where it’s all coming so think and fast that you struggle to catch your breath.

But when you do, it’s worth marvelling at the sheer brilliance of it all: just how on earth do they manage to go so disastrously wrong quite so seamlessly? Just ponder the control with which they hurtle out of control…

It’s difficult to believe there’s a funnier evening at the theatre anywhere right now; but goodness, you’ve got to admire the seriously impressive skills behind it all.

If you need a boost now the summer’s definitely disappeared, this is definitely it!

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