OLIVIER award-winning comedy favourites Mischief have fast become a global phenomenon with productions across every continent (aside from Antartica!) and they're back in Southampton this week.

Known for their slapstick gags and fast paced comedy, Mischief have seen international success with smash-hit stage shows, The Play That Goes Wrong, Peter Pan Goes Wrong, The Comedy About A Bank Robbery, and the hugely popular six-part TV series, The Goes Wrong Show, on BBC One.

Their latest West End hit, Groan Ups, is out on its first UK tour, which is stopping at Mayflower Theatre until Saturday.

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We spoke to one of the co-writers Henry Lewis:

(Q) Groan Ups is a comedy all about growing up! In your own words, how would you describe the show?

(A) Groan Ups is indeed all about growing up. About how life becomes more complex. About how much (and sometimes how little!) things change over time, and about how events in our youth can change our lives forever. But at its heart Groan Ups is a joyful comedy, finding its fun in the madness of childhood, the agonies of adolescence and all the ridiculous things we do when we all finally pretend to be adults.

(Q) Whilst still a comedy, Groan Ups is ’something a little bit different’ to the now globally recognised ‘Goes Wrong’ brand. What was the inspiration behind this one?

(A) I truly love all things Goes Wrong, for me there is very little that is as joyful as those moments of pure clown. But in the Goes-Wrong-World the actors are always speaking the lines of the play they’re in, and you rarely get to hear them speak as themselves. While you can discover a good deal about the characters of the actors in Goes Wrong from the decisions they make when things start to unravel, it’s difficult to tell these stories with these characters. So, we wanted to create a show that put character storylines at the centre of things and followed the intricate tale of a group of characters, while still delivering big laughs.

(Q) Amidst the physical gags and clever word-play Mischief is so well known for, there’s an ongoing and more serious message throughout Groan Ups. How did you balance the two together?

(A) We made sure we gave the more heart-felt moments space to breathe in the show but also, we found that comedy and tragedy don’t always need to be compartmentalised. Some of my favourite moments in the show are where the two rub up against each other, funny lines said at heart-breaking moments and devastating lines spoken in a whirlwind of farce are extremely good fun.

(Q) The show revels in that sweet sense of nostalgia we all feel when we look back on our childhoods. Was there anything you brought from your own childhood into the writing?

(A) We each have one teacher’s name from our childhoods hidden in the script, and many of the situations are based on something similar to an experience we had growing up… although I never bellyflopped onto a hamster, I promise!

  • The curtain rises on Groan Ups tonight. Tickets: 023 8071 1811 or mayflower.org.uk