In live theatre, chaos can strike most shows at some time – and one brilliant comedy has become a big hit by bringing all the mayhem possible together.
Young actor Gabriel Paul, who plays Trevor, explained: “I play one of a polytechnic student drama group putting on a murder mystery show. It’s the opening night of our show.
“Everything that can go wrong does go wrong – some people have described it as Fa wlty Towers meets Cluedo meets Brian Rix.
“There’s a lot of inspiration that the writers have drawn on. It’s not just a farce, there’s a lot of slapstick going on as well.
“There’s a lot of split-second comedic timing and some quite dramatic stunts. It’s got something for everyone, which is what’s made the shows popular around the world.
“The whole family can go and see it and there’s so much going on. The gags come so thick and fast that it is a show that requires repeat viewings. People come five or six times!”
The show was dreamed up by three young actors who had just left drama school and were struggling to find work. It’s gone on to be a huge hit worldwide and the team at Mischief Theatre also created The Comedy About a Bank Robbery.
Gabriel has managed to avoid a lot of bumps and bruises. He said: “If you’ve seen the show you’ll know my character Trevor doesn’t get involved in as much of the physical stuff.
“The rest of the cast are fantastic, They need to work through all the moves until they’re sure what they’re doing. We’ve also got a brilliant backstage team who move the sets around.”
There’s one obvious advantage in a show based on absolute chaos: “If things do go wrong during the show, we can get away with it, but sometimes the things that go wrong make the show go right and we can work around that.
“There are times when people have had scrapes and bruises.”
He said most of the bumps happened during rehearsals, especially to poor Elena Valentine, who plays Sandra and is involved in some of the most outrageous physical antics.
“We’ve been trained by some of the best people in gripping and how to lift her and how she can make her body flat,” said Gabriel.
“My mum came to see it and when she got out she said, ‘Did you switch her for a dummy? Her body was so limp!’ It’s all choreographed within an inch of its life.”
Gabriel added: “I’ve seen it over 200 times now and it is still a joy to watch and a joy to watch reactions of the audience.”
A Huddersfield lad, Gabriel is looking forward to coming so close to home. He said: “I love the city. I’ve done a bit of corporate work in Sheffield, although I haven’t really spent as much time here as I would have liked.”
He urged the audience to arrive early for the show, too. “What we recommend is that you get to your seat about 7.10pm as before the show there is a little pre-show. That’s where Trevor takes centre stage in a part where we have to find a missing cast member and enlist the audience to help us find them!”
Follow the show on Twitter via @playthatgoeswrong and @mischiefcomedy
And make sure to check out the interview that goes wrong with one of oursister papers here: https://www.miltonkeynes.co.uk/whats-on/video-the-interview-that-goes-wrong-at-milton-keynes-theatre-1-8473862
The Play That Goes Wrong is at the Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield from July 30 to August 4
Box office: www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk