So wrong it’s right, the show that became a real hit!

WHO would want to watch a performance where everything goes awry? Well… just about all of us, judging by the success of the Olivier Award-winning box office hit, The Play That Goes Wrong.

In Woking this week, it’s a comedy about a university group, the Cornley Drama Society, putting on a 1920s murder mystery where everything that could possibly go wrong does just that.

Calamities abound for the cast of The Play That Goes Wrong

“Some of my favourite moments watching theatre have been where things have gone dreadfully wrong and the actors are forced to deal with the mistake and try to keep the show on track,” said co-writer Jonathan Sayer, attempting to explain the show’s huge success.

“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.”

The Play That Goes Wrong is now in its seventh year in London’s West End and seems to have struck a chord with actors as well as audiences.

“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,” said Jonathan. “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.”

Jonathan co-wrote the play with Henry Lewis and Henry Shields of the Mischief Theatre Company and it’s been a rags to riches tale for the company.

“I remember about 10 years ago performing in our improv show and there were more people on stage than there were in the audience so of course it’s a surprise,” he said.

“We’ve been totally blown away by the response. We’re so thrilled that people enjoy the work and the characters and that we’ve been able to make so many different people laugh. The show began in such a small way performing in a 60-seater pub theatre so for it now to be being enjoyed in huge venues all around the world is very humbling and wonderful.”

The Play That Goes Wrong will open at the New Victoria Theatre, Woking, tonight and runs until Saturday 9 October.

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