The Play That Goes Wrong

Madalyn Cottrell, Staff Writer

Apologies to the hundreds of people who thought they were seeing “Hamilton,” and sadly, these are not my words,  but those of the director, Chris Bean, in “The Play that Goes Wrong.” The Broadway comedy is on tour, and is currently a part of the 2020-2021 Broadway Across America touring season. Let me just go out on  a limb here and say that it is hysterical.

My mom got me tickets to see the play for Christmas, and I wasn’t expecting much out of it. I prefer musicals over plays, so I wasn’t all that excited to see it when the time to go to the performance rolled around. I saw “Fiddler on the Roof” back in October at the Old National Centre, and I was incredibly impressed with the performance. This led to high expectations for “The Play that Goes Wrong,” and those expectations were definitely met.  

The play was at a different location than most of the shows that tour. The play was performing at Clowes Memorial Hall on the Butler Campus. Traffic was messy, but driving to the campus wasn’t as entirely stressful as my mom was making it out to be. 

Prior to the performance starting, mishaps were already occurring. It’s definitely called “The Play that Goes Wrong” for a reason. Ushers were asking people in the audience if they had seen a small dog named Walter, known to be “tempered and aggressive” minutes before the performance. A drink also spilled from the balcony just above me and down onto the audience, and actors posing as stage managers were attempting to fix the set before curtain. 

At the start it was hard to tell whether or not the chaotic environment of the theatre was on purpose, but by the end of Act 1, it’s obvious to the audience it’s all staged. During intermission, actors were even walking around the lobby in costume asking members of the audience to take over their part in the second act. I’m still not too sure about the spilled drink being staged or not. That might have just been a really ironic coincidence. 

The show was absolutely hysterical, I was laughing every other line and there was not one moment of silence from the audience. The play is definitely catered towards those who have experience in theatre, but audience members of all different backgrounds can enjoy it. Despite everything that goes wrong during the performance, the tech in the show was absolutely off the walls. 

“Ironically, it was probably the most technical show I’ve seen,” said Cate Searson, 12. “Despite everything going wrong, it all has to go wrong very precisely.”

The show is not currently playing in Indiana anymore, but I definitely recommend seeing this show if you ever get the chance.