The Goes Wrong Show

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The Goes Wrong Show
The Goes Wrong Show logo.jpg
Created byMischief Theatre
Written by
Directed byMartin Dennis[2]
  • Henry Shields
  • Henry Lewis
  • Jonathan Sayer
  • Dave Hearn
  • Charlie Russell
  • Bryony Corrigan
  • Nancy Zamit
  • Chris Leask
  • Greg Tannahill[2]
Country of originUnited Kingdom
No. of series2
No. of episodes7
Executive producersHilary Strong, Kenton Allen, Kenny Wax, Saurabh Kakkar, Matthew Justice[2]
ProducerJim Poyser[2]
EditorMark Lawrence[2]
Running time30 minutes[3]
Production companiesMischief Screen
BigTalk Productions[4]
Lionsgate UK[5]
Original networkBBC One[6]
Picture format1080i HDTV
Original release23 December 2019 (2019-12-23) –
External links

The Goes Wrong Show is a British comedy series, developed by British theatre company Mischief Theatre, produced by Mischief Screen and Big Talk Productions in association with Lionsgate UK, and features the stage show ensemble's performers. The show broadcasting on BBC One on 23 December 2019.[6][7] The plays featured in the show are performed by the fictitious Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society.

It was announced in 2020 that the BBC had renewed the show for a second series.[8]


The Play That Goes Wrong is a 2015 play by Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer, and Henry Shields of Mischief Theatre. It received strong critical and audience acclaim.[9]

Two Mischief Theatre television specials, an adaptation of Peter Pan Goes Wrong and a sequel titled A Christmas Carol Goes Wrong, aired on BBC One in December 2016 and 2017.[10][11] The success of both resulted in a full television series, using the same writers and cast, was released in 2019 as The Goes Wrong Show.[12][13] It consisted of six half hour episodes, which aired on BBC One between 23 December 2019 and 31 January 2020.[14] Each episode had a different theme, including a period romance, spy thriller, a deep south melodrama and a Christmas fable.[15]

In addition to the writers, the show also stars regular Mischief performers including Charlie Russell, Bryony Corrigan, Dave Hearn and Nancy Zamit.[16]

On 3 April 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Mischief Theatre began a watch-along of the episodes of the show on Twitter (with the hashtag #GoesWrongAlong), beginning with "90 Degrees". The watchalongs started at 7pm.[17]

Episode No. Title Date of watch-along
1 90 Degrees[17] 3 April 2020[17]
2 Harper's Locket[18] 10 April 2020[18]
3 The Pilot (Not The Pilot)[19] 17 April 2020[19]
4 The Spirit of Christmas[20] 24 April 2020[20]
5 The Lodge[21] 1 May 2020[21]
6 A Trial To Watch[22] 8 May 2020[22]

Following the success of the first series, the BBC commissioned a second series, which premiered on 22 December 2020. The first half-hour episode was a re-telling of the Nativity story.[23][24]


  • Chris Bean, played by Henry Shields
  • Robert Groves, played by Henry Lewis
  • Dennis Tyde, played by Jonathan Sayer
  • Max Bennett, played by Dave Hearn
  • Sandra Wilkinson, played by Charlie Russell
  • Vanessa Wilcock-Wynn-Carroway, played by Bryony Corrigan
  • Annie Twilloil, played by Nancy Zamit
  • Trevor Watson, played by Chris Leask
  • Jonathan Harris, played by Greg Tannahill


The Goes Wrong Show was announced by the BBC on 22 February 2019. The show was commissioned by BBC's Controller of Comedy Commissioning, Shane Allen, and Charlotte Moore, Director of BBC Content.[25] In one of the episodes, the cast are filmed upside down.[26]

Each episode of the first series was recorded in the Dock10 Studios in Salford, Greater Manchester.[27]


Series Start date End date Episodes
1 23 December 2019 31 January 2020 6
2 22 December 2020 2021 6


Series 1 (2019-2020)[edit]

No. in
TitleDirected byOriginal air dateU.K. viewers
11"The Spirit of Christmas"Martin Dennis23 December 2019 (2019-12-23)N/A
A play about Santa Claus and his elves attempt to bring happiness to a sad little girl and her constantly fighting parents.
22"The Pilot (Not The Pilot)"Martin Dennis3 January 2020 (2020-01-03)N/A
A Second World War drama that sees Army officers cracking German codes in a top secret facility.
33"A Trial to Watch"Martin Dennis10 January 2020 (2020-01-10)N/A
A courtroom drama that sees fictional defence lawyer, Karl McKennon, taking on his ex-wife Becky as he defends an ex-cop accused of murdering his brother.
44"The Lodge"Martin Dennis17 January 2020 (2020-01-17)N/A
A 1960s-set horror that sees a young family visit the home of widower Albert Fortenoy.
55"Harper's Locket"Martin Dennis24 January 2020 (2020-01-24)N/A
A period romance drama that sees the love between two characters.
66"90 Degrees"Martin Dennis31 January 2020 (2020-01-31)N/A
A drama set in the Deep South of America. The title of the episode refers to the temperature in Tennessee but the set designers misinterpreted degrees as a right angle instead of a measurement of temperature.

Series 2 (2020-)[edit]

No. in
TitleDirected byOriginal air dateU.K. viewers
71"The Nativity"Martin Dennis22 December 2020 (2020-12-22)N/A
A version of the Nativity story.


The first series received generally positive reviews. Radio Times' Huw Fullerton said that "The Goes Wrong Show ... is actually the laugh-out-loud new project from the Mischief Theatre company".[28] Tim Dowling from The Guardian praised the show's farce and the amount of behind-the-scenes effort that went into making it work.[29] Ian D. Hall of Liverpool Sound and Vision named A Trial To Watch "one of the finest examples of farce to made it [sic] to television in years".[30]

Another positive review for the opening episode came from Michael Hogan's review in The Telegraph. He said "This old-fashioned, family-friendly comedy trod the line between seasonal cheer and black humour with aplomb. It was like Mrs Brown’s Boys but funny."[31]

When reviewing the Christmas episode, Steve Bennett from Chortle said "while every mistake here is, of course, meticulously planned, they are pulled off with enough flair, commitment and occasional ingenuity to break all but the most cynical of viewers to laughter."[32]

The show received a five-star review from Suzi Feay of the Financial Times, who said, "This stuff has to be directed and performed with pinpoint accuracy if it’s to succeed. Fortunately, it’s perfectly, deliberately, terrible.”[33]

In a negative review, Lottie Young of the Evening Standard called the first episode "embarrassingly bad" and argued that "the formula [of slapstick comedy] is more fossilised than old-fashioned."[34] Rupert Hawksley from i News said that "theatre does not always translate well to television" and noted the script as being "dreadful".[35]

DVD release[edit]

The first series was released on DVD by Lionsgate Home Entertainment UK on 10 February 2020.[36]


  1. ^ Carr, Flora (10 January 2019). "The Goes Wrong Show on BBC1". Radio Times. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "The Goes Wrong Show cast and crew credits". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 13 January 2020.
  3. ^ "The Goes Wrong Show". Big Talk Productions. Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  4. ^ "BBC One - The Goes Wrong Show, Series 1, The Spirit of Christmas". BBC. Retrieved 13 January 2020.
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b Saunders, Emma (20 December 2019). "The Goes Wrong Show: When TV festive frolics go awry". BBC News. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  7. ^ Darvill, Josh (10 January 2020). "The Goes Wrong Show cast, episodes and when it's next on TV". TellyMix. Retrieved 12 January 2020.
  8. ^ "BBC - King Gary and The Goes Wrong Show set to return to BBC One - Media Centre".
  9. ^ "Everything you need to know about The Play That Goes Wrong". Official London Theatre. Retrieved 29 February 2020.
  10. ^ "Peter Pan Goes Wrong". BBC One. BBC. Retrieved 27 December 2018.
  11. ^ "A Christmas Carol Goes Wrong". BBC One. BBC. Retrieved 27 December 2018.
  12. ^ Gans, Andrew (22 February 2019). "BBC Will Air 6-Part Series The Goes Wrong Show, Based on The Play That Goes Wrong". Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  13. ^ "BBC One - The Goes Wrong Show".
  14. ^ The Goes Wrong Show, retrieved 13 February 2020
  15. ^ "BBC One - The Goes Wrong Show - Episode guide". BBC. Retrieved 19 February 2020.
  16. ^ Watson, Fay (3 January 2020). "The Goes Wrong Show cast: Who stars in new BBC comedy series?". Retrieved 19 February 2020.
  17. ^ a b c Mischief (3 April 2020). "Take part in our watchalong party of the #GoesWrongShow tonight by hitting play at 7pm on the 90 Degrees episode on @bbciplayer! Be sure to join in using the hashtag #GoesWrongAlong! #StillMakingMischief". Twitter. @mischiefcomedy. Retrieved 4 April 2020.
  18. ^ a b Mischief (10 April 2020). "Ready for our next watchalong party of the #GoesWrongShow? TONIGHT we're going to be watching Harper's Locket. Here's how to join in! #StillMakingMischief #GoesWrongAlong". @mischiefcomedy. Retrieved 9 May 2020.
  19. ^ a b Mischief (17 April 2020). "Remember to tune in tonight to our #GoesWrongAlong party at 7pm! This week we're watching The Pilot (Not The Pilot) on @bbciplayer! We promise you lots of mischief! #StillMakingMischief". @mischiefcomedy. Retrieved 9 May 2020.
  20. ^ a b Mischief (24 April 2020). "Tonight. 7pm. Join our weekly watchalong party of the #GoesWrongShow right here! Tonight we are watching The Spirit Of Christmas! Here's how to join in! #GoesWrongAlong #StillMakingMischief". @mischiefcomedy. Retrieved 9 May 2020.
  21. ^ a b Mischief (1 May 2020). "It's our #GoesWrongAlong TONIGHT! And this week, we'll be watching... THE LODGE. *Dramatic music* Here's how to join our watchalong party at 7.00pm #GoesWrongAlong #StillMakingMischief". @mischiefcomedy. Retrieved 9 May 2020.
  22. ^ a b Mischief (8 May 2020). "Reasons to join our FINAL #GoesWrongAlong at 7.00pm tonight... Missing it would be criminal, Robert would throw the book at you, And "Anything You Can Act, I Can Act Louder" is very heavy We rest our case! #StillMakingMischief". @mischiefcomedy. Retrieved 9 May 2020.
  23. ^ "News: The Goes Wrong Show To Go Rong Again". Beyond The Joke. 14 February 2020. Retrieved 18 February 2020.
  24. ^ Darvill, Josh (22 December 2020). "The Goes Wrong Show Christmas special cast and how to watch online". TellyMix. Retrieved 3 January 2021.
  25. ^ "BBC - BBC Comedy announces six part series for BBC One - The Goes Wrong Show - Media Centre". Retrieved 13 February 2020.
  26. ^ "The Goes Wrong Show stars filmed upside down". independent. Retrieved 19 February 2020.
  27. ^ "New six part series for BBC One - The Goes Wrong Show to be filmed at dock10". Retrieved 21 February 2020.
  28. ^ "The Goes Wrong Show – The Spirit of Christmas review: "A brilliantly funny festive treat"". Radio Times. Retrieved 19 February 2020.
  29. ^ Dowling, Tim (23 December 2019). "The Goes Wrong Show review – a terribly brilliant festive farce" – via
  30. ^ Ian D. Hall (12 January 2020). "The Goes Wrong Show: A Trial To Watch. Television Review". Liverpool Sound and Vision. Retrieved 19 February 2020.
  31. ^ Hogan, Michael (23 December 2019). "The Goes Wrong Show, review: knockabout festive fun – and funnier than Mrs Brown's Boys". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2 March 2020.
  32. ^ Bennett, Steve. "The Goes Wrong Show : Reviews 2019 : Chortle : The UK Comedy Guide". Retrieved 2 March 2020.
  33. ^ "'Tis the season for a wicked send-up in Cinderella: After Ever After and The Goes Wrong Show | Financial Times". Retrieved 2 March 2020.
  34. ^ "You'll need more than Christmas spirit to endure The Goes Wrong Show". Evening Standard. 23 December 2019. Retrieved 19 February 2020.
  35. ^ "BBC sitcom The Goes Wrong Show really did go wrong with OTT performances ★★". Retrieved 19 February 2020.
  36. ^ Dennis, Martin (10 February 2020), The Goes Wrong Show, Lionsgate Home Entertainment, retrieved 13 February 2020

External links[edit]