The official student newspaper of Lower Merion High School since 1929

The Merionite

The official student newspaper of Lower Merion High School since 1929

The Merionite

The official student newspaper of Lower Merion High School since 1929

The Merionite

Everything right about The Play That Went Wrong

LM Players just performed their rendition of The Play That Goes Wrong for their winter performance. Read the preparations that took place.

On February 8-11, LM Players performed their second show of the year: Henry Lewis, Henry Shields, and Jonathan Sayer’s The Play That Goes Wrong. The show depicts the fictional opening night of the Cornley Drama Society’s newest production ofThe Murder at Haversham Manor. The performance  quickly goes from bad to utterly disastrous. This 1920’s whodunit has everything you never wanted in a show — an unconscious leading lady, a corpse that can’t play dead, and actors who trip over everything (including their lines). The show was brilliantly directed by Cid Miller ’24. Miller says that the first thing that stood out to him “was the comedy and the characters and how the characters are real people putting on a show, and how to work in that realistic acting but also over-dramatic acting to the show.”  

Photo courtesy of LM Players

The Play That Goes Wrong required immense effort in order to be successful. An element of the show that was particularly daunting   were the technical aspects. These parts include  set design, lighting, costumes, sound, and props. The set, fashioned by three-time set designer Charlie McCauley ’25, is an artistic take on a 1920’s-style house that’s topped with falling walls, a rotating bookshelf, and doors falling off the hinges. The set’s clock is moveable; many actors occupied it  throughout the show.  The clock’s movement was one of the hardest parts for McCauley during the set design process. When asked about the most challenging parts of the show, McCauley exclaimed, “The clock! I hate it and it has to defy physics! The set has to fall and come back. It breaks when it falls down, so we have to fix it every single time, because it’s really hard to make a set that doesn’t.” The scenery crew, led by Lucy Thoen ’26, similarly stated that she, alongside the crew, faced, “many challenges because we are just teenagers and building a set that falls apart is very difficult.” Though these challenges made the process difficult, the crew fiercely persevered throughout the successful production.   

In addition to the crew, the cast worked tirelessly during the span of the ten weeks leading up to the performances. The cast was an ensemble of ten actors and two stage swings/stage crew members. Both groups were led by stage manager Delphine Reid ’25 and their assistant AJ Higgins ’26. Reid explains how they “called the cues for the show as well as made sure all the actors were on top of their rehearsal schedules and the tech process.” Their jobs contribute to the many tedious aspects of putting on the show. Alongside the stage crew, lead actor Katharine Worth ’24 explains that, “As an actor, being a part of the Play That Goes Wrong has been a very different experience compared to other shows I’ve been in. From a technical standpoint, this show is very complicated, and at first, it seemed very scary and overwhelming. But all the crews have been working so closely together, so nothing feels scary anymore! I’ve never felt safer on a set. Now the only scary thing is trying not to laugh at how funny the script is.” 

The audiences’ reactions reflected the tremendous effort from everyone involved in the show.

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  • Pickle FriendFeb 21, 2024 at 7:43 AM

    Great article!