by Lauren Means | photo courtesy Jeremy Daniel
If you need a break from reality, “The Play That Goes Wrong” is the perfect getaway. Coming to Nashville by way of London, the show is the product of Jonathan Sayer, Henry Shields, and Henry Lewis, all graduates of the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. The abbreviated version of the show produced today first opened in 2012 in London. As it was a small startup production, the sets, costumes, and props were designed by the members of the Mischief Theatre company. Now an international sensation, the US version is produced by Kevin McCollum (Book of Mormon, RENT, etc.) and JJ Abrams (Star Wars). The show is also an international award winner with both a Tony Award for scenic design and an Olivier award for Best New Comedy.
“The Play That Goes Wrong” is very deserving of those awards. A non-stop laugh fest, the show brings in elements of slapstick comedy, Monty Python satire, and high caliber Broadway theater. A play within a play, the audience is treated to a murder mystery, “The Murder at Haversham Manor”, put on by the Cornley University Drama Society. With only eight cast members and one set, the show is able to keep the audience captive and engaged while living up to the old saying “The show must go on!”.
While it has an improv feel to it, “The Play That Goes Wrong” is completely scripted. Through brilliant performances, this scripted show still allows the audience to feel as though they are a part of the production. The cast plays seamlessly off one another and you hardly have a second to stop and catch your breath for all the laughter. The set, which is the main antagonist of the story, keeps both the cast and the audience on their toes. Even though you know the set design is part of the show, the cast does such a phenomenal job of immersing the audience in the performance, you many times find yourself gasping as the stage gets revenge on the actors.
If you are looking for a show filled with mystery, intrigue, murder, and gut-busting humor, “The Play That Goes Wrong” will do you right.
What: The Play That Goes Wrong
Where: TPAC’s Andrew Jackson Hall
When: October 9th-14th, 2018 (various showtimes)
For more information and to purchase tickets please visit the event page at tpac.org