The Goes Wrong Show | Amazon Prime Video | 6 Episodes Now Available
I had the great fortune to see The Play That Goes Wrong at the Lyceum Theatre in New York City in the summer of 2017. I read a brief description of the play, but couldn’t be prepared for what I was about to see. When the play began, I started laughing and didn’t stop until it was over. The premise was simple: a theater company was putting on a murder mystery, but at every turn set pieces broke, actors forgot lines, props didn’t work, hammy actors addressed the audience, and anything that could go wrong did. It was absolutely brilliant, and unlike anything I’d ever seen before.
Because I seem to have the British slapstick gene – think Mr. Bean and Benny Hill – this play was ‘right up my street.’ Mischief Theatre, the folks behind The Play That Goes Wrong has translated this formula to The Goes Wrong Show, a BBC production acquired by Amazon Prime Video. Each of the episodes is a stand-alone play put on by the Cornley Drams Society, and each goes… less than perfectly.
The actors do their best to soldier on despite the carnage around them; their visible frustration and looks to the camera when things fail are just hilarious. No matter what happens, the show must go on, so the actors do their best to get their lines out while dealing with all the mini catastrophes around them.
Here’s what to expect from the first season:
Episode 1: Christmas Special
Father Christmas (that’s Santa Claus) tries to cheer up a little girl on Christmas Eve. Props go wrong, an elf gets stuck in a chimney, and a Frosty-like snowman ends up only in underpants. It’s an unforgettable Christmas scene.
Episode 2: The Pilot Episode (Not the Pilot Episode)
In WWII, the English try to decode German messages to change the tide of the war. Hitler shows up, maps swap places, foreign phrases go horribly wrong, the telegraph machine can’t seem to get it right, and there’s no upstairs. Mon Dieu!
Episode 3: A Trial to Watch
A man is on trial for murdering his brother; their fight is seen in flashback. A tiny courtroom set, malfunctioning mismatched flashback sets, a bloody prop and dodgy dialogue all make for a hilarious time – my personal favorite!
Episode 4: The Lodge
A couple and their daughter scope out a spooky house in 1960’s England. An inaccessible kitchen, chair lift shenanigans, a mom who can’t quite keep her baby bump, and an unpredictable storm keep everyone on their toes.
Episode 5: Harper’s Locket
A young lady is engaged to a lord, but is secretly in love with the stable boy. A dangerous ceiling fan, self-playing piano, difficult doors, cats and horses interfere with the atmosphere. Pride and Prejudice this is not.
Episode 6: 90 Degrees
In the American South, siblings come home to see their ailing father and fight over the family business. Let’s just say ’90 degrees’ doesn’t just refer to the weather! Things literally go sideways, the dog doesn’t quite behave, and a twist ending will keep you guessing and laughing until the end.
The Goes Wrong Show has been renewed by the BBC for a second season, so we can hopefully expect the hijinks to continue on Amazon Prime when they’re ready to go. Having breezed through the first season, I can’t wait to see more plays and how they go so very right. M