Open run

The Play That Goes Wrong

Members say: Funny, Hilarious, Entertaining, Clever, Great staging
84
Critics
76
63 reviews
Members
84
1096 reviews
 

The 2015 Olivier Award winner for Best New Comedy arrives on Broadway. Welcome to the absolutely disastrous opening night of Cornley University Drama Society’s new show, 'The Murder at Haversham Manor.'

... Read more

This 1920s whodunit has everything you never wanted in a Broadway show: a ramshackle set, a leading lady with a concussion, and a corpse that can't play dead. Direct from its hit London run, 'The Play That Goes Wrong' is a celebration of the best of live theater…and the worst.

 
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$109 Orchestra & Front Mezzanine
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Reg. prices are $30-$144. Discount prices are valid for performances through November 19, 2017. Additional blackout dates may apply. All prices include a $2 facility fee. Limit of 8 tickets per order. Normal service charges apply to phone and Internet orders. Offer subject to availability and is not applicable toward previous purchases. All sales are final—no refunds or exchanges. Offer may be revoked or modified at any time without notice.

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$109 Orch/Front Mezz, $69 Mid Mezz 

Terms

Reg. prices are $30-$139. Discount prices are valid for performances through November 19, 2017 - Purchase by September 1, 2017. Additional blackout dates may apply. All prices include a $2 facility fee. Limit of 8 tickets per order. Normal service charges apply to phone and Internet orders. Offer subject to availability and is not applicable toward previous purchases. All sales are final—no refunds or exchanges. Offer may be revoked or modified at any time without notice.

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Cast & Creatives (24)



Reviews (1159)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
76
Avg Score

65
The New York Times

"My reactions ranged between thinking this play was exhaustingly funny to finding it just plain exhausting...Everything is pitched so aggressively, you wind up feeling as battered as the ensemble. I propose putting your rational mind into sleep mode, the better to savor tickling images of order-inverting bizarreness, straight out of Dada, in which suddenly nothing is in its customary place or being used for its customary purpose. There's a wild, redeeming poetry in such anarchy." Full Review

40
Broadway News

"With its relentless working of a handful of hoary gags, it amply proved that the law of diminishing returns applies to the mechanics of farce perhaps more than it does to any other theatrical genre...The actors and the director certainly deserve commendation for the precision of the physical comedy...Long before the red herrings had been sorted out I came to feel that it wasn’t just the play-within-the-play that was going wrong, but the whole exhausting, exhausted conceit." Full Review

80
Theatermania

"This is a planned demolition (and an exceedingly well-executed one at that)...We wonder how on earth the performers are going to sustain this level of lunacy. Remarkably, they do...Their comic timing is so precise you can't help but laugh. Their pratfalls are so real, you can't help but gasp...'The Play That Goes Wrong' isn't a brilliant comedy, but you're going to laugh anyway. This is two hours of unapologetic, stupid fun, buoyed along by a cast of ultra-committed performers." Full Review

75
BroadwayWorld

"So many jabs to the funny bone that even if only a third of them strike properly you're in for a sufficient number of laughs...While the cast members expertly pull off their madness with crack timing, the star of the show turns out to be set designer Hook...While there are plenty of laughs to be had, the enjoyment comes primarily from an appreciation of the comedic skills on display. A bit of empathy-inducing playwriting might elevate the show to something beyond a long, albeit amusing, skit." Full Review

60
Time Out New York

"Depending on your tolerance for ceaseless slapstick, 'The Play That Goes Wrong' will either have you rolling in the aisles or rolling your eyes. It is certainly a marvel of coordination: The imported British cast deftly navigates the pitfalls of Nigel Hook’s ingeniously tumbledown set, and overacts with relish...But you may find it rather exhausting...It struggles to sustain interest in its series of absurdly unfortunate events. The show must go on, yes, but must it go on quite so long?" Full Review

55
The Hollywood Reporter

"The show bears no small debt to Frayn’s classic farce, 'Noises Off,' but it pales by comparison...This effort is pure slapstick from first moment to last, and wears very thin over a two hour-plus running time...The production certainly fulfills its modest creative aspirations...There’s no paucity of wit to the proceedings, and Bell stages the action with clockwork precision...But for all the strenuous effort involved, the repetitive show evaporates in your mind the moment it concludes." Full Review

80
New York Magazine / Vulture

"It’s so ridiculous it makes you feel almost ashamed to love it...The tumble from slapstick into absurdity is the best part of 'The Play That Goes Wrong'...Not that the stage tricks aren’t fun...But those tricks and carefully rehearsed ineptitudes are not, in the end, deeply satisfying, however well achieved they are...Though they let too much air out of the concept, shriveling somewhat its effectiveness and diminishing its buoyancy, I laughed at all of those things." Full Review

65
NY1

“A machine that grinds out laugh after laugh…Technically, the orchestration of sight gags and slapstick on Nigel Hook's brilliantly rigged set is highly impressive. But is it actually, y'know, funny? As a lover of British humor...I have to say that an hour of this stunt is plenty for me. Cumulatively, it's farce on steroids, without any brains. I'd be lying to say I laughed as much as the people around me. Glad they had a good time. Me, I need a little substance to ground the guffaws.” Full Review

80
Variety

"Under the go-for-broke direction of Mark Bell, its high-energy cast is comic gold and manages to sustain, with a never-ending series of diversionary tactics, its one-joke concept...It’s more lowbrow, interested in the gag and shameless in how it gets it: sometimes incredibly inventively, but sometimes going for the low-hanging fruit...Though it could benefit from some cutting, the production is an idiot’s delight...But it takes a while before the laughs come at full speed." Full Review

75
Theater Life

"Two hours of hilarity...You would think this one-joke premise would run out steam after an hour, but Mark Bell’s breakneck staging keeps the guffaws building as the play-within-a-play keeps deteriorating. The English company is an inspired lot of buffoons...'The Play That Goes Wrong' is marvelously right with English visitors giving us Americans a welcome break." Full Review

45
DC Theatre Scene

"A silly slapstick backstage farce that has improbably opened on Broadway...Its silliness is relentless, beginning before all the playgoers have even taken our seats...The running jokes are repeated with what I suppose is intended as mounting hilarity, although some might see it as diminishing returns. 'The Play That Goes Wrong' could just as easily have had a running time of 20 minutes as two hours, without losing anything essential." Full Review

30
Lighting & Sound America

"Little more than a procession of gags, sometimes executed with tremendous dexterity, but most of them unconnected to anything resembling reality. They are gags for gags' sake...The pace is so relentless and the absence of anything but gags, gags, gags quickly wore out its welcome...If you don't find the first ten minutes amusing, settle in for a long night. If you find yourself laughing early on, you've come to the right place." Full Review

85
Front Row Center

"Go see this play. There is NOTHING wrong with 'The Play That Goes Wrong.' Unless you've got something against laughing...My only quibbles with this production are that the last ten minutes or so happen so fast with so much falling apart on the stage that the intricate and hilarious story dissolves, along with everything else, before our eyes. What should have been fireworks is more like a fizzle...Nevertheless–get thee thither. Trust me. You need this much laughing." Full Review

45
The Huffington Post

“It’s 'Noises Off’ without the clever bits. Still, one does giggle a little and full credit to actors Lewis, Sayer and Shields for conceiving this show, writing and starring in it...It simply isn’t funny to have sets fall down…You need characters who seem aware of the disaster they’re in and are trying to figure a way out of the mess…All we get are punch lines with no setup…It’s not rooted in anything...Not always, mind you—sometimes real characters of a sort appear, almost as if by accident.” Full Review

90
Broadway Blog

“This is a show you can laugh, chuckle, giggle, chortle, snicker, guffaw, hoot, titter, and roar at as a farcical illustration of Murphy's Law...Under Mark Bell's inspired staging, everything works to make it seem like nothing's working, including a truly remarkable set...A good reason the havoc works is the sangfroid with which the...mummers play their idiotic characters...as they advance in perpetual combat with walls, windows, floor boards, pillars, doors, heads, and props.” Full Review

90
AM New York

"'The Play That Goes Wrong' is a nonstop, intensifying rush in which the murder mystery is performed from beginning to end...It is strangely inspiring how this inept but well-meaning troupe keeps plowing through the script. As directed by Mark Bell, all of these obstacles are meticulously staged. The eight performers have individual personalities but come together to form a tight ensemble well-disciplined in the art of being hilariously bad." Full Review

65
Talkin' Broadway

"It's very funny, with more gags per minute than any new comedy in recent memory...There's no way not to laugh, almost continuously, at the spectacle of silliness unfolding before you...For all this, though, 'The Play That Goes Wrong' stops well short of hilarious. Even if, like me, you enjoy the nonstop antics across the two hours of playing time, you may find yourself frustrated by how shallow it all is...It's not enough to result in an evening that's satisfying, let alone coherent." Full Review

90
Times Square Chronicles

“Expect pratfalls galore, sight gags and a set that is timed for disaster by Nigel Hook, who will most definitely be nominated for a Tony Award…This whacked-out company of actors will have you laughing for almost two hours and, though each is superb, another Tony nod will go to Dave Hearn who steals the show just by being so amazingly super hyped to be there…This play may have gone wrong but when it does, it comes out deliriously right." Full Review

85
Chicago Tribune

"'The Play That Goes Wrong' goes wrong so many times, in such mellifluous ways, and with such far-gone commitment to physical comedy...The rare farce with actual worth. A farce that bucks you up by reminding you of the great human capacity for resilience...The exceptional direction of the piece, by Mark Bell, embraces risk and danger to an extraordinary extent. That means 'The Play That Goes Wrong' never seems safe or comfortable in its own skin." Full Review

35
New York Daily News

"The curtain rises and things go awry...It’s the stuff that makes for a funny 10-minute skit...Unfortunately, there’s another hour-and-a-half to go in this show. That’s a lot of time to spend trying to grin and bear it...The Mischief Theatre has a game cast that will try anything for a chuckle...But along the way they forsake the fact that comedy requires logic...A comedy that comes up short with laughs and overstays its welcome—now that’s murder." Full Review

70
Deadline

"It’s funny. Sometimes it’s very, very funny, though you have to keep the faith through an almost appallingly tin-eared and flat-footed first act to get to the good stuff...An overabundance of non-sensical sight gags, slow burns, pratfalls, missed cues, wink-winks and the like dull the viewer’s senses and drag out a sophomoric sketch that would be sharper and funnier at an intermissionless 80 minutes. On the other hand...'The Play That Went Wrong' aspires to no higher goal than escapism." Full Review

84
Front Mezz Junkies

"Without a dull unfunny moment in this two-hour production, I’d say it’s quite an achievement, one that even on second viewing kept me laughing from the first second to the last...It takes a lot of talent to be this bad and act terribly so well, and these troupe members mess up, fall down, get their lines out of sync, and ride this disaster out to the end, miraculously...If this is failing, then it’s the best failure I’ve seen on stage since the madcap 'Noises Off' last year at the Roundabout." Full Review

85
Theatre Reviews Limited

"Under Mark Bell’s direction, the ensemble cast delivers a high-energy, brilliantly acted farce that celebrates the magic of the theatre by highlighting its foibles—a resplendent conception concocted by writers Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields...A gift to audience members: two hours to let their guard down and allow themselves to laugh again...Your brain will thank you for the resplendent release of endorphins and the boost in happiness and well-being." Full Review

65
Bob's Theater Blog

"One must admire the cast of eight for creating vivid characters and precisely executing the script’s many slapstick bits...Director Mark Bell keeps things moving relentlessly. While I feel a bit churlish criticizing a work that had me laughing uncontrollably several times, I had a problem with the play’s length. I would have liked it twice as much if it had been half as long. Two plus hours of repetitive slapstick without much plot or any wit is more than I can enjoy." Full Review

85
Newsday

"Finds the line that separates the annoying and stupid from the I-can’t-believe-I’m-laughing-at-this brilliance. And when the company hits that line, which it does over and over, resistance is ultimately futile...Although Mark Bell is the real director, he should get a special Tony for best choreography in a nonmusical. The physical comedy demands stopwatch precision to make the cumulative antics, not just pratfalls and spit-takes, work without hurting the real actors." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
84
Avg Score

60
Funny, Ambitious, Dizzying, Entertaining, Redundant

See it if you like ridiculous physical comedy.

Don't see it if you are expecting a plot with an actual arc. It's the same schtick for 2 hours straight.

85
Hilarious, Entertaining, Great staging, Fluffy, Silly

See it if you enjoy slap-shtick farces and run away jokes. Arrive early for the pre-show. The cast should be arrested for committing set crimes!

Don't see it if you're looking for anything more than 2 hours of laughter because it's not. Some jokes are obvious and too long but ACT II is...

80
Ambitious, Clever, Entertaining

See it if you love or even just appreciate good physical slapstick that is cleverly executed

Don't see it if you are not in the mood to just laugh for two hours and forget life's real challenges

88
Funny, Clever, Great acting, Hilarious, Great staging

See it if you enjoy farce, you want to see the set that won the Tony Award, you like physical comedy

Don't see it if you don't like farce, you want a play with a story and meaning

Also Nearing the end of its limited run, this hilarious farce is a laugh a ... Read more Read less

57
Delightful, Disappointing, Cliched, Overrated, Fluffy

See it if You like farce

Don't see it if if you hate farce!

80
Funny, Clever, Delightful, Masterful, Quirky

See it if Nonstop physical comedy: sight gags, set malfunctions, word play, improvisations with the audience. Impressive talent.

Don't see it if You don't like this style of comedy, or don't want two hours of it. While this is not normally my thing, I enjoyed it and was glad I went.

95
Funny, Clever, Great acting, Refreshing, Great staging

See it if you want to just lay back and enjoy some well timed slapstick. It was a fun show that I really enjoyed and now sending my parents.

Don't see it if don't like slapstick type humor. Expecting a real deep drama.

Also The show was a lot of fun. I was not expecting to enjoy it as much as ... Read more Read less

85
Delightful, Dizzying, Hilarious, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if You want a great slapstick farce of fun

Don't see it if You are opposed to slapstick silliness

100
Funny, Absorbing, Clever, Entertaining

See it if one of the funniest shows I have ever seen

Don't see it if you don't like comedy.

82
Funny, Dizzying, Cliched, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if Breathless, non-stop farce about theater company's disastrous 1st preview Think Noises' Off w/o the finesse Best performance is the set

Don't see it if Needs to be shortened; looses momentum which is its lifeblood A steamlined 90 minutes would suffice but not w/o its silly, mindless charms

84
Funny, Creative, Enjoyable

See it if you like farce - it reminded me a lot of "Noises Off."

Don't see it if falling set pieces make you nervous...

80
Funny, Clever, Quirky, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if you want to be entertained, laugh while hearing a constant stream of fellow audience members laughing, grin with each new surprise on stage

Don't see it if you are in the mood for a serious or thought-provoking play; or if you dislike slapstick humor

Also I found this play to be entertaining; the actors engaged the audience;... Read more Read less

80
Funny, Clever, Great acting, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if you enjoy silliness and great physical comedy.

Don't see it if you tire of sight gags easily.

80
Funny, Dizzying, Indulgent, Entertaining

See it if you like slapstick, sight gags, a combo of Clue and Noises Off.

Don't see it if you want a clever, intelligent show, or jokes that stay with you.

88
Funny, Hilarious, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if You like slapstick comedy, and plays within plays, and laughing out loud

Don't see it if You're looking for a high-brow night at the theater.

69
Funny, Clever, Cliched, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if You enjoy repetitious slapstick. Good cast - zany play.

Don't see it if A farce is not what you were expecting.

80
Funny, Ambitious, Quirky, Refreshing, Entertaining

See it if You like over the top physical comedy

Don't see it if If you are in the mood to see a serious play

95
Ambitious, Great acting, Masterful, Hilarious, Great staging

See it if you want a great laugh out loud comedy. As with any well-executed slapstick the technical execution is amazing.

Don't see it if you want to see a serious play.

73
Funny, Clever, Dizzying, Quirky

See it if you love British humor, slapstick comedy, and unfortunate/hilarious mishaps.

Don't see it if you want something story driven or full of deep meaning.

90
Funny, Clever, Hilarious, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if you want to laugh your face off and love farces!

Don't see it if you hate slapstick humor, can't understand British accents and are a fuddyduddy.

89
Clever, Hilarious, Great slapstick

See it if you want to get away from life and have a laugh.

Don't see it if you have to have a serious, thought -provoking show. This will only make you laugh.

76
Clever, Hilarious, Entertaining, Great staging, Unique

See it if Relentless flood of site gags, prat falls, mayhem ... laughed myself hoarse. And suitable for the whole family.

Don't see it if you don't like knockabout physical comedy.

97
Intelligent, Masterful, Hilarious, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if You enjoy slapstick and want to be amazed at the timing of this hilarious farce. The performers were brilliant and full of energy.

Don't see it if If you find physical comedy boring and you don't like to laugh and participate with the fun

95
Clever, Great acting, Must see, Hilarious, Great staging

See it if you want to laugh non-stop for 2 hours. Slapstick humor ala Monty Python. The Brits know how to do comedy.

Don't see it if you're a stick-in-the-mud or a Grumpy Old Man. If you don't enjoy this, I think someone took out your funny bone.

Also Loved the show so much, I saw it twice in one week. The humor is just ... Read more Read less

90
Funny, Clever, Delightful, Hilarious, Entertaining

See it if Slapstick/Vaudeville entertain you? Wanna see good actors acting badly intentionally, a great night of laughing at pratfalls!!!

Don't see it if If you don't like Benny Hill type comedy then you are better off spending your money on a different show.