Wednesday 7 December 2016

JJ Abrams taking West End comedy The Play That Goes Wrong to Broadway

Published 14/11/2016 | 20:51

JJ Abrams described his latest project as a
JJ Abrams described his latest project as a "true honour"

American director JJ Abrams is set to produce award-winning West End comedy The Play That Goes Wrong as it moves to Broadway.

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Now in its third year at the Duchess Theatre after winning the 2015 Olivier Award for best new comedy, the play will open at the Lyceum Theatre in Manhattan in April.

The original West End cast, including Matthew Cavendish, Bryony Corrigan and Rob Falconer, will star in the show telling the story of drama group actors who attempt to stage a 1920s murder mystery until everything goes horribly wrong.

Written by Mischief Theatre members, the show introduces the Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society, who battle against all odds to make it through to the final curtain call.

Abrams - the writer, director and producer of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and executive producer of sci-fi thriller series Westworld - described his latest project as a "true honour".

He said: "I have been a fan of theatre all my life. When I saw The Play That Goes Wrong on the West End, I hadn't laughed that hard, seen something as preposterously absurd or wonderfully hilarious, in ages.

"To be part of the team bringing this inspired comedy to Broadway is a true honour."

He will co-produce the show with Kevin McCollum, Kenny Wax, Stage Present and Catherine Schreiber.

McCollum said: "I love that the Mischief crew started as a group of friends in drama school just trying to make each other laugh and through their inventiveness and ingenuity, have succeeded in making thousands laugh with three plays currently running simultaneously on the West End.

"I'm thrilled to be part of the team that brings their 'mischief' and lunacy to Broadway. We all really need a good laugh."

Mischief founder and writer Henry Lewis said: "We are delighted that due to an administrative error the Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society will be coming to Broadway's Lyceum Theatre in place of the RSC's production of Black Beauty.

"A fresh American audience with no knowledge of our previous work will be a real help to us.

"We would also like to wish the RSC all the best with Black Beauty, which will now be taking place back in England at the Cornley Village Hall.

"We'll leave the vaulting horse out for you."

Now licensed to 29 countries, pre-sale tickets for the Broadway show are available until November 23.

The New York Times has described it as "a gut-busting hit".

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