Some may argue that it never went away, and they would be right of course, but a crop of new plays written by up-and-coming theatre groups is bringing the age-old genre to younger audiences.
The Play That Goes Wrong is one such farce. Written by the aptly-named Mischief Theatre, a fringe group based in London, the play started life in the Old Red Lion in Islington, became a hit at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and then transferred to the West End, where it has received rave reviews. It is now on national tour and will land at the Oxford Playhouse on Monday, January 27 for a week’s run.
The comedy, described as Noises Off meets Fawlty Towers, is about an attempt by the Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society to stage a Twenties murder mystery.
As the title suggests, everything that can go wrong goes wrong, as the accident-prone thespians battle towards the final curtain call.This play-within-a-play is mainly a catalogue of theatrical disasters — disappearing props, jammed doors, and of course the odd corpse — with plenty of slapstick in between.