There were ooohs and choked aahhs as the mezzanine carrying the bumbling inspector and his prime suspect dropped to the ground, propelling the pair down the makeshift deck with just a chair and a flimsy drinks cabinet to break their fall.

The audience roared with laughter, the sound of applause deafening as the cast steadied themselves. "Wow," I whisper to my partner. "How did they wangle that?"

Turns out they didn't. The Play That Goes Wrong had, well gone pretty darn wrong! Life imitating art and all that... Not that the audience had quite cottoned on to the fact. After all, for the last hour we'd borne witness to the most disastrous attempt at amateur dramatics in history. You see the award-winning romp follows the tribulation of the bafflingly accident-prone Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society as they battle through a truly ill-fated production of a 1920s murder mystery – weathering a mind-boggling onslaught of mock glitches, and airborne scenery in the process – to the final curtain call.

If I had had any doubt about the mastery and technical nous involved in sabotaging a play from start to finish (just enough not to elicit laughs but not so that the entire cast kicked the bucket live) now I had been shown!

Despite the hiccup and just like their (surprisingly resilient, all things considered) characters, the brave gang hilariously soldiered on through yet more (planned) nosedives, snafus and bungled lines. I must admit I watched the second act with bated breath, tensing up just a touch with every fresh gaffe, hail of broken props and collapsing scenery. Which all ticked along without (unscripted) mishap this time around.

Pelting along with furious comic energy, the cast delivered a deliciously demented performance. While they all lend their own brand of madness to the jacked-up farce, special kudos must be paid to Jake Curran and Kazeem Tosin Amore, who after all nearly plunged to their death, without flinching or breaking character in the name of entertainment. Barmy, OTT and deliriously fun, The Play That Goes Wrong is slapstick at its very best – even when (or perhaps more so) it does go wrong... Marion Sauvebois

The Play That Goes Wrong runs at the Theatre Royal Bath until Saturday, February 17. It will come to the Wyvern Theatre from June 11 to 16.