The Play That Goes Wrong is Terrible

The Play That Goes Wrong shows exactly what is going wrong in the world. I can’t believe this play won an Olivier Award and got rave reviews from Neil Patrick Harris, it is not funny. To me, there is nothing funny about watching a bunch of professional actors trying to be funny pretending to be bad actors in a University society murder mystery play where everything going wrong is actually everything going right. The play felt like a PhD dissertation in the form of a play demonstrating the writer’s knowledge of the theory of comedy. Yes, the acting was fantastic. Yes, the set design was detailed and insightful. Yes, the stage directions were hilarious and tight. But – the message of the play was appalling. In The Play That Goes Wrong, money and sex are more important than friendship and a valid reason to murder someone. 

Trevor, a wealthy millionaire, is found murdered in his study at his own engagement party to the young beauty Sandra, who is his best friend Robert’s sister. Robert, his butler Jonathan, Trevor’s brother Max, and the investigator Chris set out to figure out who the murderer is. By the end of the show, it becomes clear all the men that Trevor trusted – his brother, his best friend, and the investigation – have betrayed him for his money. Lesson learned! Men should never trust their male friends, they will just try to take what you have because they are jealous. I see now. That’s why men have no friends. Hilarious! I was cackling in my chair. 

Speaking of cackling females, Trevor’s fiancé Sandra obviously betrays him, too. She uses the only power she has – her sex appeal – to get financial security. The fact that the only power she has is the fact that men find her attractive is made all too clear when, after being hit by a door on accident and replaced by one of the backstage hands Annie, Sandra returns to the stage in her knickers to resume her role! She prances about throwing herself on the men when her replacement Annie begins to physically fight her to continue performing. Nothing funnier than a cat fight! Does that count as a pass for the Bechdel test? They were talking about careers, not men, so… 

Oh, I was laughing alright – watching two women slap each other and tape each other up in order to play the only female role in a cast of six where she plays an evil seductress with mental health problems. Sandra constantly has episodes where they give her pills for her anxiety. As a person suffering from mental health problems with people telling me I should be on pills, I really did not find this funny in the slightest. 

I sat through that play and all I could think was – am I the only one who saw what was going on? Did these people really find it funny or were they just laughing because they spent a lot of money and didn’t want to make the actors feel bad? Or did I miss something? 

Turns out my sister didn’t find it that funny either, so I felt better. But still. This play has won awards! Will Ferrell was right, “this show is terrible!”

My suggestion, please don’t see this show. Go support your local community theatre group and watch young actors learning to be good instead of good actors pretending to be bad. It’s a fraction of the price, but just as funny! 

I wonder if any of the profits of this play about a University theatre group are donated to support University theatre groups…

I wonder how many people have seen University theatre shows…

I wonder what the Ahmanson is doing to support University theatre groups…

I wonder why so many people thought The Play That Goes Wrong was funny…

If anyone knows the answers, please get in touch! 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *