A Family-Friendly Theatrical Farce 

Story by Taylor Onski, Photos by Minic Winters

Badanai Theatre will bring some light and laughter amidst the winter blues of January and February with their production of The Play That Goes Wrong. The winner of the 2015 Olivier Award for best entertainment or comedy play, which is presented by the Society of London Theatre, this production blends the classic murder mysteries of Sherlock Holmes and the slapstick and hilarity of Fawlty Towers and Monty Python

“It was the easiest and funniest script I read. I’ve never laughed so hard at a table read before,” says actor Teddy Kellogg, who plays the production’s overly excited and zealous first-time director Chris, as well as Inspector Carter in the play within the play. “I’m excited to bring my kids. The kids will love it for people getting hit in the head and the parents will love it because it reminds me of watching murder mysteries with my parents.” 

As the Cornley Drama Society local theatre troupe performs its latest production of The Murder at Haversham Manor (past productions include Snow White and the Tall, Broad Men and The Lion and the Wardrobe), they hope this is the play they get right. However, the title of the show says otherwise. “Anything you can think of happens to this poor character called ‘the set’: loved, abused, tormented, smashed,” says Kellogg. “This door needs to fall now, so that person trips and goes over there. This water needs to be spilled here so that person slips.” 

While the play may go wrong and the set is demolished by the end of the night, for actress Cady Dreger who plays Sandra and Florence Colleymoore, navigating choreographed chaos and developing multiple characters makes this experience right. “There are so many moving parts to this,” says Dreger. “We all have to make sure that we’re executing our roles with such specificity and precision. In that sense, it is one of the more challenging, but definitely one of the most fun works I’ve ever been a part of.”

While this production strays away from Badanai Theatre’s known roster of musicals, Dreger notes that this show will have just as much of the camp, energy, and enthusiasm as those memorable musicals—minus the tap shoes. “There’s so much happening on the stage at all times that if you go with a group, everyone’s going to have a different takeaway,” says Dreger. “If you have the opportunity to see the show a couple of times, it’s going to be a different experience every time.”

The Play That Goes Wrong runs from January 18 to 20, 25 to 27, and from February 1 to 3, and 8 to 10 at the Paramount Theatre (24 Court Street South). To purchase tickets, visit badanai.eventbrite.ca.