One of Covent Garden’s more intimate theatres, the Duchess has hosted some huge hits — Harold Pinter’s The Caretaker in 1960, Oh! Calcutta! throughout the 1970s, Michael Frayn’s Copenhagen in 1999—as well as a famous failure: The Intimate Revue of 1930 closed having completed only around half of the opening night performance.
In recent years, it has had far more successes than flops, with a varied and imaginative roster of new plays and spirited revivals, including Mark Rylance in Endgame, Dominic West in Butley and Lenny Henry in Fences.
CURRENT PRODUCTION: THE PLAY THAT GOES WRONG
The phenomenally successful The Play That Goes Wrong brings its unique brand of chaotic comedy tale to London’s Duchess Theatre.
But something must be going very right for the disaster-riddled show, with its riotous escapades winning the Olivier Award for Best New Comedy in 2015, now playing in the West End and theatres across the globe.
The Play That Goes Wrong follows the antics of the Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society, who are trying their very best to stage a production of a 1920s murder mystery, similar in ilk to other West End shows. But as the show’s title might suggest, this is not as easy as it sounds, with everything that can go wrong… well, doing just that. Watch out for collapsing sets, forgotten lines, broken fourth walls, absent props and unfortunate injuries aplenty.
Despite the setbacks, the actors struggle bravely to reach the final curtain, in events packed with Keaton-esque slapstick, finely-tuned fast and a wealth of physical comedy. Rib-tickling guaranteed.