Friday, May 10, 2019

The Play That Goes Wrong - National Tour at the Orpheum Theatre

This is the way the logo is used in marketing materials. It's wrong, you see.
One of the rare non-musical touring shows to come to the Twin Cities this year is The Play That Goes Wrong. The show is an all-out slapstick comedy about a play that suffers from one mishap after another. Even before the curtain goes up, members of the crew are in the theater, trying to repair the dilapidated set.

The play we see is a standard-issue British murder mystery called The Murder at Haversham Manor, a production of the Cornley University Drama Society, which somehow ended up as a major touring production in the U.S. More on that later. The curtain rises on a not-quite-dead body, falls again, and rises on the actor still trying to get in place as the deceased. The fact that the supposedly dead man ends up moving himself around the stage elicits many of the first laughs of the evening. The set falling apart, actors forgetting or mispronouncing their lines, props going missing, and actors inappropriately playing to the crowd are some of the issues this play faces.