CHINESE-ACADEMY-HK-LEADERBOARD-1DEC2021

Events

Share on print
Share on email
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin

Inside Scoop: The Play That Goes Wrong

An Interview With Writer Henry Lewis

Phenomenal West End comedy The Play That Goes Wrong is coming to Hong Kong this September! Little Steps has 3 pairs of A-res tickets to giveaway exclusively for our readers. We’re also super excited to catch up with Henry Lewis, acclaimed writer of The Play That Goes Wrong to find out a bit more about the play.

CLICK HERE to enter our Ticket Giveaway NOW! 

1) This play is awesome for parents and kids alike, why do you think it’s such a hit for all ages?
There is a universality to the physical comedy in the show which everyone can enjoy I think and we see that in London, in New York, Australia and everywhere the show has played. The audiences range from young kids to grandparents. In think there is something about making a bad choice under pressure that is funny for everyone too, we all know what that’s like, to be embarrassed and then in trying to rectify things make it worse and that’s the comic engine that drives the piece.

2) The play started as improv at a fringe festival- how much improvising goes on these days?
The show is very much set now but as you say a lot of the show’s root come from improvisation. Every time we write a draft of the script we take it to the core Mischief team of actors and we work on it, there’s always lots lot new jokes and moments to be found by doing that and of course you find out what doesn’t quite work and you refine the show that way. There are still a couple of open sections in the show which are improvised every night… but I won’t spoil it by telling you which they are!

3) What is the funniest non-scripted thing that has ever happened to you while performing?
I think the funniest thing I saw on stage was when Jon’s handcuffs broke… he is supposed to be handcuffed to the chaise long towards the end of the show and he’s supposed to be unable to remove the handcuffs (when the key is misplaced) and then the gag is that when he exits he has to drag the whole chaise longue off with him. The removal of the chaise is an important move because we need a clear stage for the big finale moment of the show… but the handcuffs broke and Jon was no longer shackled to the chaise longue… the show had really gone wrong… by going right… because the thing that’s supposed to wrong for Jon hadn’t stopped!

Jon remained in character and did what Perkins (the butler he plays) would do which was to shout “I’M FREE” and run off, escaping his captors but leaving the rest of the cast with the chaise longue on stage. The action continued, a bit stilted now as everyone continued saying their lines but inside their head screaming “HOW DO WE GET RID OF THE CHAISE?” at which point Nancy (who plays Annie, the stage manager, who’s currently reading in for an actress who’s been knocked out… come see it, it really is fun!) decides to take it upon herself to remove the chaise and does so by running over to it and improvising a monologue about how much she hates chaise longues. “OH THEY’RE AWFUL! THEY’RE ALL LONG AND THEY’RE NOT SOFAS AND THEY’RE NOT CHAIRS! WHAT ARE THEY?!” while throwing the chaise out through the door. A fantastic solution found in the moment.

4) How have different audiences reacted around the world?
Is humour truly universal or have you found some things work better for different audiences? There are occasionally slight differences between countries but the joyful thing about the show is that it’s greeted with huge laugh, smiles and love everywhere it’s been. It’s been a delight to see such different audiences across five continents laugh at the same moments.

5) What will you be doing off-stage while you’re in Hong Kong?
I’m not performing myself sadly. I’m in the Broadway production at the moment, but I’m sure our current UK touring who are coming over will be sure to see all the sights, we’re certainly taking in as much of New York as we can.

6) If you could sit next to anyone in the world while they watched your play who would it be and why?
Interesting question, I think I’d certainly like to have sat next to Ricky Gervais, Richard Curtis or Rowan Atkinson, while they saw it, as masters of comedy I’d be fascinated to have seen their reactions, although I’d have been nervous to have sat next to them! But really the most rewarding audience members to have in are those who aren’t theatre pros or even regular theatre goers but those who just like to laugh. We also get letters from time to time from people who have been to see the show at a stressful or sad time in their life saying that they were so pleased to have laughed a lot and been cheered and that’s extremely moving and gladdening. I think that the little escape theatre offers is a tremendous thing.

** CLICK HERE to enter our Ticket Giveaway NOW! **
**CLICK HERE to buy your tickets!**

 

Share on print
Share on email
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Want More? Sign up for the Little Steps e-newsletter!
Sign Up
Tips. Deals. Events.
LittleSteps
Sign Up
Tips. Deals. Events.
LittleSteps

Hong Kong Articles