Francine Cain is waiting for something to go wrong in the Australian premiere of the award winning comedy, The Play That Goes Wrong.

“I’m playing Understudy, so I’m understudying Brooke Satchwell and Tammy Weller in the roles of Sandra and Annie,” explained Cain.

Francine Cain is probably best known to theatre audiences for her role as Frenchy in the recent GFO national tour of Grease The Musical or Regina in Rock Of Ages. Cain has been nominated for numerous Helpmann and Green Room Awards and was the winner of the 2010 Rob Guest Endowment Award. The Play That Goes Wrong is her first play.


“It’s very different to anything I’ve ever done before. It’s incredibly hard work. It’s harder than I ever thought it would be, because during the week we don’t really do anything. We have to sit, watch and take notes, then we have our calls on Saturday. So basically we do what they’ve done in five days, in one day!” explained Cain, admitting it’s been a massive learning curve.

“It’s a big workload to what I’m used to and I’m really thriving in that,” she added.

Cain explained that when working on musicals, there would be set rehearsal schedules timed throughout the day, such as dance classes and singing lessons. She said during the rehearsal period of The Play That Goes Wrong, particularly in the first week, it was a lot of drama games and exploration of characters.

“There were so many improv games, which I haven’t done since drama school and it’s so terrifying!” laughed Cain.

“We are here all day – learning off each other, learning off the director. We are a team of people. It’s been really interesting and exciting.”

“We get much more licence to contribute and make choices. In musical theatre that doesn’t really happen anymore.”

Cain explained her interpretation of the two characters she is understudying will be her own.

“Having grown up in the theatre, I know there are some real Sandras and some real Tammys out there. So there’s little bits of me and little bits of things I’ve seen and taken away. I get to build these characters myself,” commented Cain.


Francine Cain feels The Play That Goes Wrong is a show for anyone.

“I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard!” said Cain.

“The English do comedy well. They know comedy. The brilliant thing about British comedy is that it’s not hammy. There’s no boom-boom moments. We’re playing the truth. We are a group of people who want to put on this murder mystery so badly and it’s just not going our way. And anyone who’s ever seen a show before, or done a show before, will know exactly or can relate,” said Cain.

Cain said that with all that’s going on in the world, it’s good to take some time out and just have a good laugh.

“Also, it’s nice to watch other people getting hurt. Aussies just love that, more than anyone else. It’s weird. But you will see so much pain – in a good way.”

Francine Cain will be waiting in the wings for something to go wrong, ready to take on a role at any moment. She thinks it’s just a matter of time.

“Look, there’s so much pain involved, I’m sure I will!”

The Play That Goes Wrong opens tonight at the Comedy Theatre in Melbourne’s East End Theatre District before a national tour.