Last night we went to
the theatre in Leeds to see The Play That Goes Wrong
. It was funny to the extent that my stomach hurts from laughing so hard this morning. I very much recommend it if you are in need of an evening of jollity - and who isn't, these days?
I think my favourite character was the corpse (no, really), but it was a close run thing between him and the stage-hand-who-ends-up-getting-roped-
into-the-play, or the corpse's brother, whose layers of performance were very impressive - acting a bad actor who plays up to a large audience excellently.
The recalcitrant set, of course, is a character in it's own right. Whoever designed it is a genius. Bits alternately fall off or unexpectedly don't
fall off; doors swing open or fail to open, depending on what they are not supposed to do, etc. The timing of all these things is vital, and it was absolutely spot on every time, right down to the ( small spoiler )
at the end.
The po-faced actor/director-playing-the-inspector's ( small spoiler )
He reminded me of nothing so much as my English teacher at school, who used to sweat blood pushing recalcitrant children into the school play, and inevitably things went wrong as they do in these situations.
The one note of caution I would sound is that it doesn't pass Bechdel. There are
two female characters, but they don't talk to each other at all (although at one point they talk over
each other and ( small spoiler )
). There's no real reason why the Butler, or the Sound Engineer, or even the Inspector couldn't be women, they just... aren't. This is a bit of a contrast from the Agatha Christie plays which this is clearly riffing off, which are always scrupulously gender balanced...
That was the only thing that really bothered me, though. Otherwise I had an excellent time, the performances were good, the stage set was excellent, and the comic timing was first rate. If you get the chance, go see this, particularly if you've already seen and are familiar with The Mousetrap, to which there are many many refernces. Also, you need to get in there ten minutes or so early. No spoilers, but it's worth it.