The Theatre Group at Santa Barbara City College to perform the comedy ‘The Play That Goes Wrong’
The show must go on.
Even if everything goes wrong on a stage with accident-prone actors who make blunders, forget their lines and are just really, really bad on an opening night.
That’s the premise of “The Play That Goes Wrong,” which director Saundra McClain describes as a cross between “Monty Python” and Sherlock Holmes.
The Theatre Group at Santa Barbara City College is performing the comedy about a horrible group of actors at the college’s Garvin Theatre, 721 Cliff Drive.
Written by Henry Shields, Henry Lewis and Jonathan Sayer, the play opens with preview performances Wednesday and Thursday, and its regular run is Friday through Oct. 29.
The story is set in 1922. It’s the opening night of the Cornley University Drama Society’s newest production, “The Murder at Haversham Manor,” and the actors are determined to perform a play despite a series of mishaps.
The cast features Amir Keyhan Almir, Justin Davanzo, Han Do, Tyler Gilbert, McKenna Kline, Isaac Lewis, Will Muse, Nicholis Sheley, CJ Smith and Matthew Tavianini.
“The actors are playing two or three characters,” Ms. McClain told the News-Press. “You have to be conscious of the character you’re supposed to be on the stage and the character you’re playing at the same time (in ‘The Murder at Haversham Manor’), and when one character intrudes on the other. The actors playing (‘The Murder at Haversham Manor’) characters break character when things go wrong.”
“You have your stereotype stock actors, like the actor who has never been on stage before, the actor who can’t remember his lines, the diva, the classically trained actor,” Ms. McClain said. “Those are the stock characters. Then there are the characters they’re playing.”
And when these stereotypical actors portray “The Murder at Haversham Manor” characters, they go wonderfully over the top, Ms. McClain said. “It’s slapstick. It’s a farce.”
“It’s being put on a theater company that’s more like a community theater group in a small town, so to speak,” Ms. McClain said. “They don’t have a lot of money. The actors are very local. They might have a couple of actors who may have come from out of town. They’re not supposed to be the best actors.”
They lack talent but have no lack of plain bad luck, with one thing after another going wrong on opening night.
“The whole theme of the play is the show must go on, as they try to overcome these mishaps and get to the end of the play,” she said. “They are determined. They won’t let anything stop them.”