The Play That Goes Wrong Review – Empire Theatre, Liverpool

The Play That Goes Wrong
Image Source: ATG

This is our review of The Play That Goes Wrong at Liverpool‘s Empire Theatre. So, let’s take a look at The Play That Goes Wrong!

Description Of The Play That Goes Wrong

Mischief Theatre delivers a play within a play. For this is the tale of Murder At Haversham Manor! It’s a simple murder mystery as we stumble upon the lifeless body of Charles Haversham (Jonathan Harris a.k.a. Steven Rostance). From there, Inspector Carter (Chris Bean a.k.a. Colin Burnicle) enters the scene. And it’s his job to determine who was responsible for the heinous crime. The leading suspects are Charles’ fiance Florence Colleymoore (Sandra Wilkinson a.k.a. Aisha Numah). Her brother Thomas Colleymore (Robert Grove a.k.a. Kazeem Tosin Amore). Not to mention Charles’ own brother Cecil Haversham (Max Bennett a.k.a. Edi De Melo). And there are numerous twists and turns as we work towards learning who committed the murder.

However, for the wider show, there is far more to it than that. Because literally everything that can go wrong does go wrong. I won’t provide spoilers here because the element of surprise is crucial. But I will say that you need to keep your eyes on as much of the stage as possible. Unexpected occurrences are regular, and at the risk of stating the obvious, they happen when you least expect it. Chris Bean doubles as the director for MAHM, and his frustration grows as problems continuously happen. And so we, the audience, end up having two questions to ponder. The first is, who was the murderer? And the second is, will the play actually reach its conclusion???

Analysis Of The Play That Goes Wrong

This is one of my favourite shows to watch, and it didn’t disappoint. Mischief Theatre now has several major shows to its name that follow a similar premise. These include The Bank Robbery That Goes Wrong and Magic Goes Wrong. But this particular production is both their original and their best work. A key reason why this succeeds is that it goes beyond mere slapstick and sitcom-esque shenanigans. There’s an authentic and unpredictable feel to the many problems. Everything is on stage for a reason, and there are numerous clever references to the increasingly-bonkers crises. In fact, some of the audience’s biggest reactions happen during minor moments that receive a subtle tease throughout the evening.

Another reason why this show succeeds is due to its cast. All involved play their roles superbly, and as difficult as it must be at times, they never break character. (Hey, even if they did, that would only be a bonus for a show like this, right?) Some, such as Max Bennett, garner laughs due to their hilarious over-excitement at performing. Meanwhile, Robert Grove treats the evening as if he’s performing for Her Majesty herself, which only increases his exasperation at this disasterpiece. There are other great characteristics, but again, I won’t spoil them. This is a show that works best when you’re a first-time viewer and you literally don’t know what’s coming next. Either way, the team truly earns the huge laughs throughout the night and the standing ovation at the end.

Summary Of The Play That Goes Wrong

Once again, I had a great time watching a show that succeeds far more than a neutral could imagine. There’s a skill to the controlled chaos and clear attention to detail that allows the production to be consistently funny. Though it was my second time watching this particular performance, almost everything remained fresh and elicited giggles aplenty. I gave it a 10/10 last time, and I will do the same this time. If you’ve never watched this show, I urge you to see it during its current Liverpool run.

Notes

Target Audience: Ages 12+
Content: No Content Likely To Offend
Recommendation?: Yes

Overall Rating: 10/10 – Perfect