What’s it all about?
Hot on the heels of the Olivier Award-winning The Play That Goes Wrong and Olivier-nominated Peter Pan Goes Wrong comes a third comedy wonder from creators Mischief Theatre that is both as lovable and face creasingly silly as a miniature horse wearing a top hat.
Okay, so said horse doesn’t feature, but there are a melancholic chorus of seagulls who just can’t catch a break. There’s also a crime-dabbling broad with a string of drooling suitors, a pick pocket who finds himself indulging in the least sexy threesome of all time and a whole pack of gloriously feckless law officers happy to throw out the book in the quest for the comically massive diamond at the centre of this mishap-laden adventure.
Welcome to Mischief Theatre’s 1950s Minneapolis where everyone’s swapped church for crime and, once again, if it can go wrong it most definitely will. In the most wonderful, hilarious, side-splitting, slick way of course.
Who’s in it?
The original cast and creators of TPTGW are back in full farcical force. Rather than capitalising on their award-winning formula, they’ve admirably chosen to raise the bar instead for two and a half hours of pure comedy gold and theatrical excellence.
Writers Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields prove they’ve equal talent when it comes to puns and performing as a Danny Zuko-inspired cool-headed conman, accident prone 60-year-old intern schmuck and booming voiced bank manager on the verge of a nervous breakdown respectively.
Charlie Russell proves herself an unstoppable force of wit and physical comedy as femme fatale Caprice, keeping her cool even when suspended upside down from a rope six in the air, while newcomer Jeremy Lloyd gives an impressive West End debut as a flustered policeman if only for his hilarious face crumples.
What should I look out for?
David Farley’s ingenious sets. Without giving anything away, when you’re this good the laws of gravity don’t apply.
A million and one moments of staging genius that have you smiling as much as the slapstick, from wheelie chairs as motorbikes to phone boxes as electric guitars. In the wrong hands it could look clunky, but Mark Bell’s direction and the performances are so slick, the show never misses a beat.
Musical scene changes that give Nancy Wallinger’s vocal talents a chance to shine. Is there anything this group can’t do?
In a nutshell?
Mischief Theatre don’t just do it again, they raise the farcical bar with a sure fire hit packed with slick theatrical inventiveness, hilariously silly word play and gravity defying design to leave your sides aching and heart warmed.
What’s being said on Twitter?
Fresh, brisk and incredibly funny, The Comedy About A Bank Robbery is extremely clever & well worth seeing @mischiefcomedy
— Anna Brewer (@AnnaBrewerDrama) April 21, 2016
I can think of no higher compliment for The Comedy About A Bank Robbery than “it wasn’t to Jeffrey Archer’s taste, he left at the interval.”
— Nick Holland (@nick730) April 21, 2016
Will I like it?
If you loved the group’s previous offerings then it’s a guaranteed yes. A newbie to these slapstick sensations? You’d be a fool not to give it a try. Far more than straight up farce, it’s an evening of theatrical ingenuity and flawless performances packed with heart.