Fringe Box



Stage Dragon Review: Good Luck, Studio – Yvonne Arnaud Theatre

Published on: 9 Nov, 2022
Updated on: 9 Nov, 2022

By Ferenc Hepp

The award winning Mischief Theatre are regulars at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre and they are welcomed back with the brand new show, Good Luck, Studio.

Adam Byron and Sophia Lorenti in Good Luck, Studio. Photo by Pamela Raith.

They are best known for shows such as The Play That Goes Wrong, Magic Goes Wrong and Groan Ups, all of which have been on the Guildford stage.

Written by Henry Shields and directed by Henry Lewis, Good Luck, Studio is a brand new show, first workshopped in July 2021, and coming to the end of its world premiere tour this autumn.

The setting is a TV studio and it is the final hour of filming for Wibble The Dragon with an audience of children expecting to be entertained. Little do they know that the filming of this under written and over budget programme would be completely disrupted by a failed actor who has a very specific reason to want to take over the role of Wibble.

Harry Kershaw, Chris Leask, Tom Walker and Bryony Corrigan in Good Luck, Studio. Photo by Pamela Raith.

The start of the show has a very Mischief Theatre feel about it, with a design by Sara Perks which would lend itself to typical Play That Goes Wrong mishaps.

This is where the similarity ends. Do not be misled by the photos of children’s characters and previous productions, this dark comedy has some very strong and emotive themes, some strong language and violence with an age guidance of 14-plus.

Chris Leask (Wibble) and Jemma Geanaus in Good Luck, Studio. Photo by Pamela Raith.

Appearing in the fictional Wibble The Dragon is not the highlight of any actor’s career and Jemma Geanaus as Elizabeth is very realistic about this situation, keen to finish filming and to move on. This is reflected by the TV director’s sentiments when he says: “It’s a kid’s show. It doesn’t have to be good.”

Tom Walker gives a very realistic portrayal of Andy, who is in charge of this chaotic hour, attempting to keep some sort of order, but uncaring at the same time. We feel his pain.

Adam Byron in Good Luck, Studio. Photo by Pamela Raith.

Adam Byron as Anthony is very much a highlight with his anecdotes about working with famous actors through his career which may or may not be true, but delivered with the sarcasm and wit of a Shakespearean actor who is far too good to be in this TV show.

Bryony Corrigan, brings a wide variety of emotions and humour to her character of Saoirse, frustrated by the chaos which ensues.

Greg Tannahill in Good Luck, Studio. Photo by Pamela Raith.

Greg Tannahill is mostly a supporting role as Kevin the Medic in Act One, but is given a substantial scene of his own after the interval where he is able to show off plenty of physical comedy skills. This does provide a lot of laughter, but feels like padding rather than an essential part of the plot, which switches between the studio floor and the gallery.

The way the same time period is shown one after another in the two locations is cleverly directed by Lewis but each scene could do with some time shaving off to aid the pace and the impact.

Gareth Tempest and Harry Kershaw in Good Luck, Studio. Photo by Pamela Raith.

The main protagonist of David is brilliantly portrayed by Gareth Tempest. He provides the darker themes of the show and these are often rather disturbing, especially due to the contrast between the children’s characters and the personal battles experienced by David and Andy. Due to the extremely sensitive topic of losing a child, we find ourselves guilty for laughing, even during the farcical scenes.

Some of the jokes are very close to the bone, rather unnecessary and feel very uncomfortable. I actually overheard an audience member that they felt somewhat disturbed.

This is a new direction taken by Mischief and was well received by the opening night audience. However, I prefer the traditional Goes Wrong humour where I am free to belly laugh, and don’t have to be concerned about such emotive topics within a matter of minutes from a previous slapstick scene. That is what Mischief are best at, and that is what they should continue to produce more of.

Good Luck, Studio runs until Saturday, November 12. Tickets are available online here or you can phone the box office on 01483 440000.

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