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Review: The Play That Goes Wrong at the Rose Theatre
Every detail is considered and performed with precision in The Play That Goes Wrong, the ultimate 'play within a play', writes Tom Ambrose.
As soon as the auditorium opened to the public, mock stage crews could be seen struggling to piece together a pretty shoddy set - even asking members of the audience for assistance.
There is certainly an argument that is harder to perform a play that goes wrong than a play that goes off without a hitch.
The Play That Goes Wrong depicts the fictional Cornley Polytechnic Society's portrayal of Murder at Haversham Manor.
Chris (Henry Shields) is the much-troubled director, who doubles up as Inspector Carter, with frequent flashes of Basil Fawlty-style breakdowns throughout.
And who could blame him when his theatre group has previously performed cut-budget productions such as The Lion and the Wardrobe - not to mention Cat.
Shields excels as the straight man who has to deal with disaster-prone colleagues such as Robert (Henry Lewis), who plays Thomas Colleymoore.
Dennis (Jonathan Sayer) plays Perkins the butler in the piece but, to his fellow actors' derision, struggles with pronunciations of words - ominous or facade, for example.
The whole would-be cast are fantastic throughout and do not put a step wrong - or should that be right?
It is a unique piece of theatre and follows in the footsteps of Smack Family Robinson and Donkeys' Years as another hilarious comedy at Kingston's Rose Theatre.
If you thought you were a fan of the farce genre, think again - The Play That Goes Wrong is as farcical as a farce might get, in the best possible way.
Catch it before it closes at the Rose Theatre on Saturday evening. Visit rosetheatrekingston.org for details.
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