Published: 07:04, 14 July 2021
| Updated: 09:08, 14 July 2021
Things won’t be alright on the night for the characters in The Play That Goes Wrong - and that’s guaranteed.
The Olivier Award-winning comedy, which comes to Canterbury’s Marlowe Theatre this week, features the fictional Cornley Drama Society, trying to put on a 1920s murder mystery, The Murder at Haversham Manor.
But it’s not the plot that’s the killer for them as the accident-prone thespians battle against all odds to reach the final curtain call.
After premiering in 2014 and three previously sold-out tours, the production runs at the Marlowe until Sunday, July 18.
Things can and do go wrong in live theatre, so did the script writers draw inspiration from real life?
Co-writer Jonathan Sayer said: “The characters were all found in rehearsal and through performing in front of an audience.
“That said we’ve all been part of productions that have gone wrong and we’ve all made mistakes on stage (although hopefully nothing as catastrophic as in this play!) so there’s a lot of experience to draw on for finding who the characters are and how they respond to embarrassment.
“Some of the events in the play seem like an actor’s worst nightmare!”
He added: “Lots of actors come up to us at the end of shows, be they professional or amateur, with some fantastic stories of things that have happened to them in different productions. I think the show has quite a cathartic effect for them. But it’s not just actors, I think the idea of making a fool of yourself in front of a huge number of people is something that everyone can relate to. Everyone has felt that feeling where they want the ground to open up and swallow them, so they get on side with the characters in the play and they really want them to get to the end of the show.”
The show has won multiple awards and its humour that’s just for Brits - there are productions in more than 35 countries.
The show grew from a group of drama school graduates who became friends, set up a company under the name Mischief and created a body of work that includes West End successes Peter Pan Goes Wrong, A Comedy About A Bank Robbery and Groan Ups as well as The Goes Wrong Show on BBC One.
Co-written by Henry Lewis, Jonathan and Henry Shields and directed by Sean Turner, The Play That Goes Wrong will be the second production staged at the Marlowe Theatre since reopening after a long period of closure.
Seating for the show will be socially-distanced, with audience members sitting next to specially-commissioned portrait cut-outs. To book click here.