#10TheatreFacts: Antony Coleman on 'The Play That Goes Wrong'

November 27, 2018

The Play That Goes Wrong, currently doing its third and final run at Theatre on the Bay, is a scream... of terror, for the casts' characters, and of exuberant delight, for the audience. The magic of this production is that everything goes so wrong, that it is absolutely right in being a gloriously catastrophic murder mystery explosion of fun and giggles.


Joining the spectacular cast for this victory-lap-run is Antony Coleman. We asked him to share some theatre facts about this hilarious production.


1) When did you fall in love with theatre?

I was at school. We did a production of Boo To The Moon by Paul Slabolepszy. I was pretty much hooked after that. 


2) As a production, what genre of theatre best describes The Play That Goes Wrong?

I think ‘slapstick farce’ might be the best description. It’s a fantastically silly play that audiences can’t seem to get enough of. 


3) Tell us about your character in the play.

I play an actor (Robert) playing a character (Thomas Colleymoore) in a murder mystery thriller. Robert is nervous as all hell and only just managing to keep things together while portraying a swashbuckling and suave Thomas. He keeps breaking out of character and then recovering and desperately pushing on through the play. 

4) What have you found most enjoyable about taking to the stage in The Play That Goes Wrong?

In my experience, working with such a big cast is rare. So, from that perspective it’s a treat to find my fit within the mayhem. And this cast in particular is incredibly adept at supporting each other. I feel quite at home with these lunatics. 


5) What is your favourite moment in play?    

There are so many favourite moments. My favourite bit of the play is when the set collapses but we carry on regardless. 


6) Is The Play That Goes Wrong a technically challenging play to perform? If so, how did you prepare for this challenge?

I think fitness is key to surviving this play so I’ve been running a lot. Also with such a seasoned cast, the focus backstage is intense. Any wrong move or lapse in concentration and things could really go wrong. 


7) What about The Play That Goes Wrong do you think intrigues and entertains audiences most?

I think the audience gets a chance to switch off and laugh. Trying to predict what will go wrong next could be intriguing.


8) Apart from your character, which other role in The Play That Goes Wrong do you like most? What about that character fascinates you?

All the characters are intriguing for different reasons though. Our stage manager is fascinating to watch. The audience gets to see someone from backstage for a change. He is totally uninvested and stands out starkly from the rest of us.

9) How important is it to have a strong ensemble in show such as The Play That Goes Wrong?

Everyone needs to be incredibly focused, with the organized chaos on stage and behind the scenes any wrong move or lapse in concentration could mean disaster. And as the director [Alan Committie] pointed out the play works as a piece of music and if we aren’t perfectly orchestrated as an ensemble, then we’re playing out of tune and the piece doesn’t work.


10) What does theatre as a lifestyle mean to you?

For me right now it means being away from home for a long time. I can’t wait to get back.


You only have until 1 December 2018 to go and experience the fun and madness of The Play That Goes Wrong at Theatre on the Bay before the show transfers to Johannesburg for the festive season. Book your tickets at Computicket.


Please reload