Previewed 20 September 2019, Opened 10 October 2019, Closed 1 December 2019 at the Vaudeville Theatre
The brand-new comedy all about growing up, Groan Ups in London for a strictly limited 10 week season
Are we the same people at 30 as we were at 13? Does school life determine our future? Do we ever grow out of our school crush?
Playing an unruly classroom of kids and anarchic high school teenagers, through to the aches and pains of adulthood, the original Mischief company are back in the West End with their first new play since 2016. This is a lesson not to be skipped... a brand new comedy for anyone who ever went to school.
The cast features Bryony Corrigan as 'Chemise' / 'Miss Murray', Dave Hearn as 'Paul', Henry Lewis as 'Spencer', Charlie Russell as 'Katie', Jonathan Sayer as 'Simon', Henry Shields as 'Archie', and Nancy Zamit as 'Moon', with George Haynes, Krystal Dockery, and Holly Sumpton. Directed by Kirsty Patrick Ward with sets by Fly Davis, costumes by Roberto Surace, lighting by Christopher Nairne, and sound by Alexandra Faye Braithwaite. Written by Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer, and Henry Shields, with the cast.
Please note: Recommended age 13 and above.
Brought to the West End by Mischief Theatre who have previously presented the comedies Magic Goes Wrong at the Vaudeville Theatre from December 2019 to March 2020; The Play That Goes Wrong currently playing at the Criterion Theatre; The Comedy About A Bank Robbery currently playing at the Duchess Theatre; and Peter Pan Goes Wrong Apollo Theatre 2015 and 2016.
When this production opened here at the Vaudeville Theatre in London's West End in October 2019, Luke Jones in the Daily Mail highlighted how "the flawless comedy troupe Mischief Theatre... offer high-octane sitcom energy, sharp scripts and gently smutty humour. This time, their focus is school and growing up... It's madly funny and there is an outrageous farce sequence towards the end... The whole lot of them are near comedy perfection." Dominic Cavendish in the Daily Telegraph explained how "the script deftly unites moments broad and silly with elements wistful and serious within a simple structure: we follow the shifting relations and fortunes of five school friends, from early primary days past the terrible teens to an adult reunion... Aside from showcasing Mischief's rare facility for generating mirth and turning the stage into a zestful playground, it suggests a growing maturity of artistic ambition." Matt Wolf in the i newspaper said that it was "a terrifically likable, if overlong, study of how we got here from there. Or how they got there, that is, with reference to the five classmates whose lives are tracked over three decades across as many scenes... With a sharper directorial eye and a pruning scissors, a sweet evening would stick in the memory that much more." Nick Curtis in the London Evening Standard commented that "this latest brash comedy from Mischief Theatre observes a group of schoolmates at ages six, 14 and then at a reunion in their thirties. The storyline is never less than obvious and bluntly implies that we never escape the classroom roles imposed by teachers, parents or cruel peers. It's crudely funny at times but overwhelmed by frantic histrionics and bawling. I felt like I was in detention." Dominic Maxwell in the Times wrote that "Groan Ups is Mischief Theatre's effort to mix their high-comic approach with a new sort of emotional maturity... It has some lovely moments... yet it's a baggy old evening, not quite a full-on gagfest, but too broad to sustain its aspirations to be something more substantial."
Groan Ups in London at the Vaudeville Theatre previewed from 20 September 2019, opened on 10 October 2019 and closes on 1 December 2019