Review: The Play That Goes Wrong, Duchess Theatre ★★★★☆

The Play That Goes Wrong wows with brand new cast! 

By Jordan Hayter

The Play That Goes Wrong has become a cult classic for London theatre since opening in 2015, filling the London streets with riotous laughter. Even with time and new casts, this has not changed, and that trend continues with this new bunch of misfits.

The cast are absolutely bonkers in the best way possible, performing disaster after disaster with such chaotic brilliance you will be laughing almost the entire time. The thunderous laughter at the slightest movement or eye twitch will set the whole building shaking with joy. What is most refreshing is that this new cast does not try to be carbon copies of those who played their roles before, each bringing their own little quirks and characteristics to make each moment their own.

The cast of The Play That Goes Wrong. Photo: Robert Day

The standout performance of the evening was Scott Hunter as Max. They stole every ounce of attention when they hit the stage with their childlike wonder. They also seemed to perfectly capture the image of fear in their face, which is much needed throughout the madness of the show, including their terrified interactions with Anya De Villiers as Sandra who added all the drama and extra-ness in everything she did. Her physical comedy is impeccable, how she does half the things she does 8 shows a week is beyond me. This is especially true with her scenes and interactions with Ashh Blackwood as Annie, which build in craziness as the show goes on.

The cast of The Play That Goes Wrong. Photo: Robert Day

In contrast to the drama queen that is Sandra, another standout was Tomisin Ajani as Trevor, the fed-up tech guy. His calm persona for most of the show is a great contrast to what’s happening on stage, making it seem even more crazy. Oliver Mott’s also impressed as Jonathan. Even though he is not on stage as often as the others, the scenes he’s in, he nails. His recurring gags get funnier each time he appears on stage.

Now, we get to the trio of madness, with Jaouhar Ben Ayed as Dennis, Mikhail Sen as Chris and Stuart Vincent as Robert. These three come as a comedic package – though all their individual performances are enjoyable, together they create a comedic tornado in the middle of the stage. When they are all together you know that something very wrong is going to happen in the most exciting way.

The cast of The Play That Goes Wrong. Photo: Robert Day

Admittedly, some of the gags went on a little too long. At times this worked in the joke’s favour, but the elongated gags in Act 2 felt drawn out at times. Going back to the smaller comedic moments following the experience of the big Ac1 finale affects the pacing. However, this show has definitely stayed relevant for a reason, and if you haven’t seen this chaotic mess yet, you should definitely add it to your watchlist.

The Play That Goes Wrong is at the Duchess Theatre, currently booking until 2 April 2023

Jordan Hayter is an upcoming journalist, specialising in theatre, from Dorset. You can find her on Twitter @ReporterJordan