This fast-paced production of The Comedy About a Bank Robbery is exactly what it says on the tin. And as far as comedies about bank robberies go, you can’t get much better than this! Larger-than-life performances, super slick scene changes and ridiculous laugh-out-loud puns give the audience everything they could want from a show of its name.
A mismatched group are on a mission to rob a lucrative diamond from a Minneapolis bank – but of course, nothing goes as planned. The evening is riddled with mistaken identities, slapstick entrances and exits, and a ton of silly verbal misunderstandings (rather conveniently, the bank manager’s surname is ‘Freeboys’ – misheard for the benefit of the action as ‘Threeboys’). Oh, and there’s a good dose of will-they-won’t-they romance added in for good measure.
This dynamic kaleidoscope of a production never stops moving – from accidental threesomes in the bedroom to three criminals singing Rock-a-bye Baby to a snoozing security guard. And all tied together by a playlist of vintage do-wop hits. I’d put my money on them averaging at least a laugh a minute.
But jokes aside, it’s the excellent (and athletic!) ensemble that really completes this lively production. With spot-on comic timing, snappy multi-roling and energetic performances all round, there’s an impressive array of talent on display.
One of the greatest joys of farce is seeing the fun the cast are having on stage. On the night I attended, a complex slapstick sequence went wrong and left the actors corpsing and the audience in hysterics. To get back on track they had to start the sequence again from the beginning – with the audience 100% behind them. It was one of those rare magical moments in theatre where the audience and the company onstage are totally together.
The third of Mischief Theatre’s plays to hit the West End, The Comedy About a Bank Robbery could quite possibly be their most challenging and entertaining yet. Referring to their productions at the end of the show as ‘a suitably silly way to waste your time’, this really is unpretentious, pure enjoyment at its finest!
The Comedy About a Bank Robbery is currently playing at the Criterion Theatre in London, and goes on tour around the UK this autumn. For dates and booking details visit the website here.