Playwright Henry Shields has told how tough it was shooting the TV adaptation of The Play Goes Wrong hanging upside down.
The actor and his fellow Mischief Theatre Company stars have adapted their production – which sees a drama group struggling as everything goes wrong while they try to put on a play – for a six-part BBC One series.
Each instalment focuses on one of the society’s catastrophic theatre productions, in which everything goes wrong.
In one, the cast are suspended from the set.
“It was physically quite demanding,” said Shields, who added the group fight to do as many of their own stunts as possible.
“I actually wasn’t on my side. I was the only character that was suspended facing down in the bed at the end … So I had an easier time of it than everyone else I think, just about.
“It was pretty tough for everybody.”
Shields said the group trained by hanging upside down for increasing periods of time and had blood pressure tests to make sure they could do it.
They also shot in 90-second bursts.
“We made that rule,” said Shields. “Funnily enough, no-one has tried to do this before. We decided 90 seconds was the most time you could be upside down!”
Co-star Jonathan Sayer said at one production meeting a man stood up and shouted: “This is madness! People are gonna get hurt! There could be aneurysms all over the place!”
Fellow star Henry Lewis added: “He was almost in tears saying that the blood was going to pool in their limbs.
“It was just like: ‘Oh my God, yeah, we are doing something really, really unusual’.”
The Goes Wrong Show starts on BBC One on Monday December 23 at 7.30pm. It will then be on every Friday from January 3 at 8.30pm.