If you think you're having a bad day then you really need to go and see The Play That Goes Wrong. Like most bad days, it all starts optimistically enough with Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society enthusiastically staging their amateur production of period murder-mystery drama The Murder At Haversham Manor with an endearingly hammy cast peppered with talcum-powdered-aged hair, notes written on hands and a lovably belief-suspending actor who claps along delightedly whenever the audience applauds him. But after an unfortunate false start, followed by various unlucky mishaps, every few seconds in the play something - or several simultaneous things- go wrong. And confidentially, it's probably the funniest catalogue of absolute unmitigated ill-fated and downright dangerous disasters you'll ever see in your life.
With valiant determination to Stick To The Script Whatever Happens whilst every conceivable nightmare -plus a hundred more problems you wouldn't dare to dream of - crash and hurtle around their ears, the cast gamely stagger on in spite of corpses that can't stay dead no matter how hard they try and heart-stoppingly break-neckingly precarious scenery-induced accidents that result in nothing less than girl-on-girl armed combat whilst a running gag of prop mix-ups leaves the hapless detective/director character resignedly reduced to writing notes on a vase. With a set of keys.
But if that old "Am-Dram theatre going awry" theme sounds a little bit like familiar territory- and in some ways it is, particularly with the play's occasional Basil Fawlty/Ripping Yarns undertones - it's the incredible side-splitting split-second timing, choreography and ingenuity of this insane physical comedy that lifts it all the way up from likeable-enough silliness to a top-notch ding-dong stellar performance in an absolute classic class of its own.
Deserving a First Class Degree with Honours in Funniness and proving so many wrongs do make a right, lovably shambolic, accidentally anarchic - and don't forget to look out for a dogged little performance from a special guest star from Nottingham who may/may not make it onto the stage - confidentially, this play can do no wrong in our eyes, do the right thing and catch it at Nottingham Theatre Royal until Saturday this week.
The Play That Goes Wrong is at Nottingham Theatre Royal until Saturday 29th March 2014. Full details about show times and ticket prices can be found on the Theatre Royal website here