Review On THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG


Leigh Kennicott

Leigh Kennicott

Registered Critic


This spoof of a 1920s drawing room drama out-spoofs even the venerable Noises-off. The fictional Cornley University Drama Society production of (organ music here) “The Murder at Haversham Manor,” comes to us as The Play That Goes Wrong. The equally fictional program notes by Chris Bean (Evan Alexander Smith), the director, voice coach, dialect coach, fight choreographer, casting director and costume designer for the drama society, are worth the price of the ticket. Laughter begins almost immediately when the curtain rises on Jonathan Haversham’s “dead” body (Yaegel T. Welch) before he has crawled into place, and it just goes wronger from there.

The piece de resistance of the evening involves the malfunctioning set that is so genius that it received its own Tony Award for the Broadway production. The only sour note forces ingénue Florence Colleymoore (Jamie Ann Romero) and “stage manager” Annie (Angela Grovey) into a senseless and unfunny battle with each other for supremacy at the end of the play.

Leigh Kennicott
Leigh Kennicott has an extensive background in theatre, film and television and a Ph.D. degree in Theatre, awarded in 2002. A writer, director and actor, Leigh Kennicott began theatrical reviewing at Backstage, followed by Pasadena Weekly and Stage Happenings blog.
As a director in Los Angeles, she directed a neo-realist "Romeo and Juliet" at the Secret Rose Theatre; a new play,“Charlotte Second Chance,” at DramaGarage; and “How I Learned to Drive,” “Nickel and Dimed” and “Top Girls” all at College of the Canyons.
Presently, she teaches theatre topics at California State University, Northridge.