The Play That Goes Wrong begins before the curtain has even been raised, as the audience are present while the Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society prepare to stage their new production – the 1920s murder mystery ‘Murder at Haversham Manor’. However the set is not yet complete and there is no time to finish it off…..the show must go on!
With a murder (and a moving corpse) established from the beginning, the murder mystery gets into full flow. However, the props start to disappear, actors go missing and the set begins to collapse around, and often on, the cast. Mayhem ensues, the acting gets worse, and the set becomes increasingly dangerous, but the company struggle on regardless. The question is whether any of the cast and crew will remain standing, or conscious, by the final curtain?!
Cast of characters:
PLEASE NOTE: This is a physically demanding show. Most roles will require varying amounts of crawling, climbing, lifting, running, and/or falling. There is also a sword fight and some hand-to- hand combat.
Age ranges for characters are flexible (18+) and will depend upon groupings and pairings found through auditions.
CHRIS: (The director of the show – also plays Inspector Carter). A first-time director but a fairly decent actor if maybe a little melodramatic. Maybe he’s been in a Shakespeare play once. He tries his best to keep the show on track while gritting his teeth at the ineptness which surrounds him.
JONATHAN: (Plays Charles Haversham, deceased). Poor guy. He’s been cast as a corpse but has trouble playing dead. Don’t worry – he actually has some lines as the play progresses.
SANDRA: (Plays Florence, the fiancé of the deceased who is having a secret affair with his brother). She is the company’s leading lady; a bit of a diva who thinks she’s more talented than she really is. (Or maybe she’s not too bright? There’s room for interpretation.)
MAX: (Plays Cecil, brother of the deceased who is having a secret affair with Florence – also plays Arthur the gardener in Act II). This role is fairly open to interpretation. Is he the company’s typical male ingenue? Their go-to character actor? A bit of a ham who likes applause?
ROBERT: (Plays Thomas, the deceased best friend and Florence’s brother). This is the sort of actor who always gets cast as the ‘best friend’ or ‘brother.’ Earnest and optimistic, he always believes the show is going much more smoothly than it really is. Note: The actor cast in this role will need to be comfortable performing on a seven-foot-high platform with no railing.
DENNIS: (Plays Perkins the butler). Probably the worst actor of the bunch. Has difficulty pronouncing big words and has to write a cheat sheet on his sleeve.
ANNIE: (The stage manager). Generally able to solve problems quickly. When she has to substitute as the leading lady, she goes from nervous to confident to downright competitive.
TREVOR: (The sound tech guy). Occasionally misses his cues or forgets to turn his mic off. Generally stays backstage until he too must substitute as the leading lady.