I have never watched a play this terrible in my entire life. There were multiple technical issues, one actor clearly didn’t know a single line, and the set kept falling apart. And it just kept getting worse…
Words: Keziah Leary. Subeditor: Julia Tsilman
★★★★☆ Apollo Theatre, Mischief Theatre Company
Fortunately though, this was exactly what I wanted from Peter Pan Goes Wrong. To put it simply, it was perfectly imperfect.
The Olivier and WhatsOnStage award winning company, Mischief Theatre return with their new hilarious play, Peter Pan Goes Wrong. Anyone who’s seen their award winning show, The Play That Goes Wrong, will know exactly what to expect from the show – plenty of blunders, disasters and bizarre characters. The unexpected mistakes are what really makes the show hilarious, so if you’ve seen any of their previous shows it may seem a little predictable at times. However, there are plenty of new aspects to laugh at – from the multiple blackouts to the wrong voiceover audio being played.
What really makes the show unique, is the pre-show acting from the cast. From the moment I stepped into the auditorium, I could hear the ‘chaos’ from the actors and crew, rushing around trying to find lost items and fixing broken parts of the set. I even had the pleasure of turning around in my seat to find a terrified Henry Shields as the director, seemingly “terrified of heights” and shouting down that he needed someone to come and save him. It was a delight that the whole audience were included in this, even the people (like myself) up in the cheap seats, experienced the pre-show excitement.
The cast work beautifully together, bouncing off each other to collectively make the show funny. There really is no weak link. Your favourite characters from The Play That Goes Wrong return: the lovably simple Max, the forgetful Dennis and the overdramatic diva, Robert. You really have to commend the cast for what they’re doing, it’s not easy to act badly but somehow they pull it off. They either are genuinely terrible actors, or they are in fact fantastic at their jobs. Masters of comedy.
Historically, sequels are never as good as their original counterparts, and unfortunately Peter Pan Goes Wrong doesn’t break that trend. To produce a show as successful as The Play That Goes Wrong would be near impossible, but they come very close to doing so. It’s still hilarious, it’s still brilliant, and I imagine it will still win just as many awards as the original (because it jolly well deserves to). Keep an eye on these guys, they’re going to rise to even greater things in the future.
For the perfect amount of Christmas spirit this year – without having to suffer through a dreaded pantomime – make sure you go and see Peter Pan Goes Wrong. You’ll start laughing the moment you step into the auditorium and won’t stop until you’re halfway down the street on the way home. Pack tissues, because you’re bound to cry with laughter.
For a limited time only, catch Peter Pan Goes Wrong at the Apollo Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue. Tickets are available via the Nimax Theatres website.