Right man in Wrong role

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Stage - Tanya Macnaughton

NICK Simp­son-deeks needs to be care­ful what he wishes for.

Af­ter a se­ries of dra­matic roles in film, tele­vi­sion and the­atre, the ac­tor de­cided he needed to pur­sue a com­edy and was soon cast in the Aus­tralian pro­duc­tion of West End hit The Play That Goes Wrong.

“Now I’m ex­hausted and bruised and my back is sprained,” Mel­bourne-based Simp­son-deeks said.

“It’s in­ter­est­ing that out of all the work I’ve done this ab­surd clown­ing ex­pe­ri­ence is by far the most phys­i­cally and vo­cally chal­leng­ing; it’s in­cred­i­bly re­ward­ing.”

Hav­ing been de­scribed as Fawlty Tow­ers meets Noises Off, the hi­lar­i­ous pro­duc­tion fol­lows Corn­ley Polytech­nic Drama So­ci­ety as it presents 1920s mur­der mys­tery The Mur­der at Haver­sham Manor, dur­ing which nu­mer­ous the­atri­cal dis­as­ters oc­cur.

How­ever, the show con­tin­ues through ev­ery stum­ble as the ac­ci­dent-prone ac­tors sol­dier on, hop­ing the au­di­ence have not no­ticed.

Simp­son-deeks plays Chris Bean, Corn­ley Polytech­nic Drama So­ci­ety pres­i­dent and The Mur­der at Haver­sham Manor di­rec­tor who un­der­takes the role of In­spec­tor Carter in the mur­der mys­tery.

“It’s the role in­side the role and I think hav­ing worked in am­a­teur the­atre, which most of us in the cast have done, you know these peo­ple,” he said.

“These char­ac­ters have been in­cred­i­bly well ob­served and there’s a lot of heart; I don’t think this show in any way sets up to mock am­a­teur the­atre.”

Simp­son-deeks, who last per­formed in Perth in The Turn­ing for Perth The­atre Com­pany, said his par­ents were huge fans of Bri­tish ab­sur­dism and slap­stick, so he grew up watch­ing a lot of Fawlty Tow­ers and Monty Python.

“I think we all find pain in­cred­i­bly funny when we have that lit­tle bit of dis­tance. The suc­cess comes down to the writ­ers find­ing these con­stantly sur­pris­ing ways for things to go wrong,” he said.

“The play is ex­actly what it says in the ti­tle. You know what you’re com­ing to see, but I think what’s re­ally funny and ap­peal­ing to peo­ple is that one gag just tops the next and even when you think you know what’s com­ing, you rarely do.”

Nick Simp­son-deeks and Brooke Satch­well in The Play That Goes Wrong.

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