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Review: The Play that Goes Wrong, Wales Millennium Centre Cardiff

Award-winning comedy The Play that Goes Wrong has opened at the Wales Millennium Centre (WMC) in Cardiff, brought by the wonderful Mischief’s company.

If the last two years has made you forget what a joy it is to visit the theatre and share in the laughter alongside an auditorium full of people, then this could be the play for you.

If you’ve ever taken part in a school production before or have been part of amateur dramatics, then you’ll know, not only of the wonderful characters that you meet but also that inevitably, something always goes wrong. Whether it’s a stumbling actor or actress’ mispronunciation of a word, or a member of the audience heckling, or part of the set falling over, there’s always something and this play has it all.

The Play that Goes Wrong takes all the usual mishaps of the theatre and amplifies them, packaging them up into a laugh-a-minute play that will even bring a smile to the most earnest of people. What the fictional Cornley Drama Society is actually attempting to do is put on a 1920s murder mystery (Murder at Haversham Manor), and as the name suggests, you will witness the triumphs and tribulations of them doing just that.

The Play that Goes Wrong. Credit: Robert Day

From before the play even official begins, there are clues that the society’s play isn’t quite going to plan. As you take your seats at the WMC, a stage hand appears and invites the audience to help look for a missing dog. In fact, this won’t be the only occasion when the ‘third wall’ of theatre is broken, as audience participation is seen throughout.

The Play that Goes Wrong. Credit: Robert Day

We all know that things can go wrong any moment, but to pull off what can only be described as a seamless flow of flaws is quite a feat in itself. And of course, the more that does go wrong, the funnier it gets as the triumphs and tribulations build comedic suspense. In fact, it isn’t just the brilliant performances of the cast that make this play remarkable, it’s the set too. We say that, but we can’t quite decide how much of that is down to the talent of the cast or technical wizardry in the background… if you know, let us know in the comments. All we know though is that it’s a classic case of Murphy’s law, if it can go wrong then it certainly will.

The Play that Goes Wrong. Credit: Robert Day

Will they make it to the end and discover the killer before the set literally falls down around them? You’ll have to go see it to find out.

The drama society’s murder mystery play is made up of a small cast which includes, Inspector Carter (Chris Bean), Charles Haversham (Jonathan Harris), Thomas Colleymoore (Robert Grove), Perkins (Dennis Type), Florence Colleymoore (Sandra Wilkinson), Cecil Haversham (Max Bennet) and the gardener, also played by Max. In addition to this, a big hand has to go to the stage management as well, including the Stage Manager (Annie Twilloil); Assistant Managers Xavier Leret, Farah Magee, Phill Murray and Dylan Turner. Let’s just say, they couldn’t have done it without the Lighting and Sound Operator, Trevor Watson.

The Play that Goes Wrong. Credit: Robert Day

Don’t miss this brilliantly funny comedy that’s guaranteed to leave you aching with laughter.

Age guidance is 8+.

The Play that Goes Wrong is now showing at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff until Saturday 18 June 2022. Tickets from £15.50, find out more and book tickets here.