REVIEW: Good Luck, Studio, Mercury Theatre Colchester ✭✭✭✭

Paul T Davies reviews Mischief Theatre’s Good Luck, Studio at the Mercury Theatre Colchester as part of its inaugural tour.

Mischief Theatre Good Luck Studio
Chris Leak (Wibble) and Jemma Geanus. Photo: Pamela Raith

Good Luck, Studio.
Mercury Theatre, Colchester.
6 October 2022
4 Stars
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It’s quite some coup for the Mercury to premiere the new play by Mischief, creators of the now legendary The Play That Goes Wrong. It’s the final night of recording Wibble The Dragon and time is tight to get the show finished in an hour. On top of the usual fluffs and an increasingly restless audience of children, a failed actor turns up determined to play Wibble The Dragon. It’s The Kids Show That Goes Wrong, and if you feel it may be a little over-rated at the interval, fear not. Henry Shields’s brilliantly plotted and structured play should be taught on play writing courses. All the foundations are laid in Act One, and the second half is one glorious and hilarious hour of pay off after pay off. The genius is that we see the same section of time from two points of view, the studio and the gallery in Act One, with the addition of the First Aid room in Act Two. It all comes together in a delightful, beautifully executed climax.

Wiltshire Creative
Harry Kershaw, Chris Leask, Tom Walker and Bryony Corrigan. Photo: Pamela Raith

The cast are excellent, with accurate timing- just as well as things could really go wrong! Jonathan Pie fans will love Tom Walker as the bitter, cynical director Andy, who has a couple of amusing rants. Harry Kershaw is a brilliant bundle of frustration as the writer Sean, and Eboni Dixon tries to get everyone to notice her character, Pam, very effectively. However, it’s Greg Tannahill’s  First Aider Kevin that steals the show, his second act scene is a play within a play full of wonderful physical comedy. Gareth Tempest is excellent as Wibble reject David Cooper-Brown, and Adam Byron as deluded Shakespearian actor Anthony hams it up perfectly. Without giving any plot away, the physical comedy of Chris Leask’s “T-Rex” Wibble had me wiping tears of laughter away.

Mischief fans will know that, of late, a darkness has crept into their work, and the motivation for David’s revenge feels a little shoehorned in at first, though it does provide some poignant moments later on. It sometimes feels like delayed gratification, and that the show is holding itself back a lot in the first half. However, don’t analyse it too much and strap yourself in for the roller coaster ride. “Forget your troubles, c’mon get happy”, is a little bit of a mantra for the UK at the moment as we try to escape the constant onslaught of bad news. Hearing the audience last night, this show will make you feel very happy, and the buzz as we all left was palpable- this Wrong feels very Right!!

FIRST LOOK: Mischief Theatre’s Good Luck Studio Tour


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