The Play That Goes Wrong has one premise—and it’s right there in the title. During a “production” of The Murder at Haversham Manor at the center of The Play That Goes Wrong, mishaps, malfunctions, and mistakes litter the “performance.”
Actor Akron Watson plays Trevor, the reluctant lighting and sound board operator of The Murder at Haversham Manor; he’s more concerned with texting than teching the show. But behind the scenes, the production stage manager of the actual Play That Goes Wrong, Matt DiCarlo, must call cues with military precision to fuel the humor and make sure, well, everything goes wrong.
The play from London’s Mischief Theatre won the Olivier for Best New Comedy in 2015 and is currently the longest-running play on Broadway. Having won the Tony for Best Scenic Design of a Play, the key to audience’s belly-laughing is the show’s stagecraft. From falling wall hangings to jammed doors, from loose floorboards to crashing sets, from lights that come on too soon to lights that don’t come on at all, The Play That Goes Wrong depends on the moments that make live theatre exciting.
In the video above, we watch DiCarlo call sound and lighting cues as the clueless Trevor struggles to keep up.