Groan Ups reviews at the Vaudeville Theatre ★★★

Reviews are in for Mischief Theatre’s new show Groan Ups, now playing a limited season at the Vaudeville Theatre in London’s West End.

Not quite the same smash-hit as their award winning debut show The Play That Goes Wrong, it seems theatre critics weren’t falling over themselves to laud this show. Is the format up for Mischief Theatre?

If you fancy a nostalgic night revisiting your childhood, with a slice of psychoanalysis in a physical comic format, then this show is for you.

Groan Ups is booking until 1 December 2019 at the Vaudeville Theatre, London.

Groan Ups tickets are available now.

Read a round up of theatre reviews for Groan Ups at the Vaudeville Theatre, below.

Average Critics Rating
★★★

Groan Ups reviews

The Telegraph
★★★★

"Growing pains of the most painfully funny kind"

"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."

"Yes, the scenario is a bit scribbled on a bus, trades on stereotypes, and gag-wise has its share of groaners. Yet 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. "

Dominic Cavendish, The Telegraph
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The Guardian
★★★

"This is more a study of the life that goes pear-shaped"

“From age six to 30, Mischief Theatre’s engaging band of classmates bicker and play but rarely test the assumption that character is formed in childhood”

“Instead of The Play That Goes Wrong, this is more a study of the life that goes pear-shaped”

“It proves fitfully enjoyable but is overshadowed by works that have ploughed the same theatrical furrow”

“The problem is that drama depends on change whereas this play argues that we mature without ever growing up”

Michael Billington, The Guardian
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The Evening Standard
★★

"Overwhelmed by frantic histrionics and bawling, it felt like being in detention"

“What’s worse than a stage full of screaming children? A stage full of screaming adults pretending to be screaming children, that’s what.”

“It’s crudely funny at times but overwhelmed by frantic histrionics and bawling”

“How funny you find these tots will depend on how much you enjoy phony baby talk, poo jokes, and the molestation of hamsters”

“Jonathan Sayer’s Simon is so gratingly whiny I wanted to bully him myself.”

“The verdict on this first attempt has to be: could do better.”

Nick Curtis, The Evening Standard
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TimeOut
★★

“The folks behind ‘The Play That Goes Wrong’ fall flat on their faces with this oft-cringey school-set comedy”

Mischief Theatre...they're a genuinely heartening success story with an impressive work ethic and it’s a real shame that their new play ‘Groan Ups’ is fairly dreadful.”

“All sorts of wearyingly crass assumptions about class and sexuality.”

“They are a fundamentally likeable bunch. But they blunder way outside their comfort zone with the child acting in the first half and again with the bittersweet dramedy stuff in the second”

Andrzej Lukowski, TimeOut
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The Times
★★

"Bigger in scope, smaller in impact"

"I’d love to say that it’s another smash. It has some lovely moments, especially when the second half ascends into the farce that suits them best. 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."

"There are some deft depictions of childhood tropes. Yet it soon starts to drift. The second half detonates the first half’s secret passions and rivalries, has fun with silly Simon’s preposterous plans to impress Moon, but can’t quite persuade us to take this malfunctioning crew semi-seriously. "

Dominic Maxwell, The Times
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broadwayworld.com
★★★★★

"I was actually crying with laughter towards the end"

“This company are experts at physical comedy. Everything seems timed to perfection and nobody appears to miss a beat. From the very first joke, right to the last, there is so much laughter coming from the audience.”

“The children-turned-adults are superb. Henry Lewis, Charlie Russell, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields offer so much to each other, being very generous with their stage action.”

“I knew it was going to be funny, and I was actually crying with laughter towards the end, but at the same time I never expected it to be so tragic”

Charlie Wilks, broadwayworld.com
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The Telegraph
★★★★

"Growing pains of the most painfully funny kind"

"Yes, the scenario is a bit scribbled on a bus, trades on stereotypes, and gag-wise has its share of groaners. Yet 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. "

Dominic Cavendish, The Telegraph
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👤 📅28 October 2019
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1 thought on “Groan Ups reviews at the Vaudeville Theatre ★★★”

  1. This was without a doubt the WORST piece of theatre I have ever seen in almost 60 years of theatre-going. There was nothing of merit – not in scenography, music, performances and especially in the script. Had someone else not purchased the tickets, I would never have stayed. Three hours of my life utterly wasted, three hours that I will never get back.

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