Mischief Theatre gave birth to a series of plays featuring productions by Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society, all of which go terribly and hilariously wrong.

The Play That Goes Wrong was the company’s original offering and is by far the best. For timing and construction it ranks alongside Noises Off, that other farcical chronicle of a doom laden production. It has garnered awards both in the West End and on Broadway.

Before the Drama Society present Murder At Haversham Hall the audience is welcomed by the Society’s President and leading man who proceeds, in a very funny speech, to catalogue and apologise for the shortcomings of previous productions.

What follows is a wickedly funny demonstration that has the audience howling with laughter, of every possible theatre disaster as the cast struggle through their performances.

Verbal wit is matched with great physical comedy. It would be unfair to reveal more and spoil the fun for other audiences. Suffice it to say that mayhem takes over in which split timing is essential and magnificently achieved, not only by the actors but also by the stage hands.

Steven Rostance plays the murder victim and never has a dead body taken so much physical abuse to such a funny effect. Elena Valentine, the ingénue and Catherine Dryden her understudy and rival, must be black and blue from the violence they inflict on each other.

Bobby Hirston is most endearing as a first time actor, grinning at the audience whist hamming it up with exaggerated gestures. A highlight of the show is when Jake Curran, leading man and director, losses it as the audience laugh at him and indulge in pantomime banter. He delivers a wonderful mock tirade a la Basil Fawlty.

Kazeem Tosin Amore and Benjamin McMahon give delightful performances that add to the fun.