Anyone who has ever worked a theatrical production knows the fear of something going terribly wrong and throwing off the whole scene (or worse, the whole show). Whether it’s a performer getting lines mixed up or a costume that won’t come off in time for the next entrance or set pieces that won’t stay together — plays and musicals are often held together with a prayer. Get ready for everything to fall gloriously apart in The Play That Goes Wrong, SBCC’s production of chaos and antics, running at the Garvin Theatre from October 12-29.
With physical gags aplenty, director Saundra McClain calls the show joyous, yet extremely challenging. This play within a play tells the story of the Cornley University Drama Society’s catastrophic production of The Murder at Haversham Manor. “It’s timing; it’s skill; it’s patience with themselves,” says McClain of the actors maneuvering through this dance of disasters. “They have to really pay attention, because if they’re in the wrong spot, they can get hurt. If they’re late, they can get hurt. Or throw the timing of something else off because everything is timed down to the second…. You have to hit your mark, or you might get hit by a piece of scenery.”
Watch for creative choreography that includes outlandish fights, characters jumping through windows and falling off set pieces, and swordplay. Fight director Edgar Landa and the production team have the challenge of keeping these physical gags safe for the players — not only for the sake of the actors, but also for the experience of the audience. “Everything is so timed and precise that ideally the audience is able to suspend their disbelief because they know it’s choreographed,” says Landa. “[They] understand that the actor is completely safe.”
Come for the comedy and stay for the stunts. As Landa says: “Get ready for a wild ride!”
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit theatregroupsbcc.com/current-season/The-Play-That-Goes-Wrong.