An announcement through the PA system that the house opening will be delayed. As you take your seats, cast members argue and search for missing items. An audience member is called upon to literally hold the set together. It’s all going wrong and the play is still to start.
The Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society’s production of The Murder at Haversham Manor sees bad luck begin from the off when they stomp on Cecil Haversham’s dead fingers. He shrieks. From that point on, things only go from bad to worse.
Twenty minutes later the laughter is so loud that I struggle to hear the actors. That laughter only gets louder and then continues throughout the performance. I have never been to a show where so many people are laughing so heartily.
The show follows a cast of actors so devoted to the script that they will do whatever it takes to see the performance through to the bitter end. Sometimes to the point where their own lives may be in danger. Beyond that premise, the show features a cast actually at the top of their game, skilfully interacting with an incredible set design and, of course, each other.
Slapstick humour abounds but it’s the impeccable timing that makes this production really stand out. It would be impossible to single out one cast member, they work together so seamlessly.
The play may go wrong, but the laughs are guaranteed. A night of broad, physical comedy that we British do best. The show is suitable for and would be enjoyed by all ages. Definitely one not to be missed.
Birmingham Alexandra Theatre until Saturday May 21st
Tickets available here: ATG TICKETS