Peter Pan Wrong! Goes (25/2/20)

The Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society are pretty well known these days, with two plays and even a TV series, so having seen The Murder at Haversham Manor (The Play That Goes Wrong) and their Play of the Week series on the BBC (The Goes Wrong Show) I knew I was in for… An experience. And Peter Pan definitely delivered.

Of course the drama society is a group of characters created by the wonderfully talented Mischief Theatre. And the show going wrong is what makes the experience so funny. And I don’t think a show could go more wrong than Peter Pan did last night. With a revolving stage that can’t be controlled; an actor who knows none of his lines; and personal relationships in the cast making their way into stage, the craftsmanship in the script is evident and writers Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields deserve full credit for that. Without meticulous writing like that, the show would not be what it is.

Of course, the show also would not be complete without a set of clearly defined characters within the piece, all acted with superb comedic timing. There we no stand out actors in this piece, they work as a tight Ensemble and no one is more talented than the other. The dynamic created is one of a kind. Every actor plays an actor in a character. It’s that kind of layered acting that makes this show so easy to watch. You can clearly see the actor who thinks he is better than this (as shown by him signing programs before the show fully in character) and the actor who is desperate to be with the leading lady, but has been put in the role of crocodile, (Max, played by Tim Babbage, got some of the biggest cheers from the audience).

Chris Bean, the “director” of the piece playing Captain Hook (played by George Haynes) was superb to watch. His frustration and desperation for the show to go on was hilariously clear to the audience. A stand out moment being whenever the audience acted as if the show was a pantomime, and him being forced to stick to the script and join in. Other “actors” winding him up by joining in with the joke.

One of these actors being Dennis (Romayne Andrews), who acts as John Darling and a hilarious mermaid. His main gag was having to wear a headset to be fed his lines. His deadpan delivery was comedic genius and deserved the raucous laughs he got from the audience.

The actors are backed up on stage by a group of techies led by stage manager Trevor (Ethan Moorhouse, who is fresh out of LAMDA but acts professionally unprofessional in his role). These people are the icing on the cake and what helps make the show unique. They are running around the auditorium like crazy as the audience come in. Trying to run wires through the crowd and find a lost hammer. This brilliantly sets the tone for the rest of the show.

This Play is a hilarious journey that is almost as epic as a natural disaster blockbuster, so much so that at the end of the play, all the actors are hugging and jumping with joy as if they survived an Earthquake or Tsunami. And the audience is behind them all the way.

I recommend seeing this before the tour finishes on the 29th of Feb.