The Comedy About a Bank Robbery
Criterion Theatre, London
Mischief Theatre Company
5 / 5
Starring: Gareth Tempest, Miles Yekinni, Jeremy Lloyd, Tania Mathurin, Sean Kearns, Mark Hammersley, Steffan Lloyd-Evans, Hannah Boyce and Christopher Pizzey.
Direction: Mark Bell and Nancy Zamit.
Writing: Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields.
Plot Summary: A priceless diamond has been entrusted to the city bank, but in a town where everyone’s a crook and even seagulls can’t be trusted, what could possibly go wrong? Delivering swag loads of laughter, Ocean’s Eleven meets the Marx Brothers in this dynamite new comedy. (Mischief Theatre)
Following the exceptional performance of their ‘Goes Wrong’ plays, Mischief Theatre have added another hit comedy to their repertoire with this outrageously inventive and hilarious play centred around a bank robbery. Whereas the former plays relied on the slapstick theatre-related comedy, the Bank Robbery has a plethora of ambitious and complicated comedy staging that demonstrates the skill of the actors and stage crew involved in this slick, funny and excellent comedy.
Performed in the style of a 1950s Hollywood comedy; a Canadian gang that have escaped from prison and they attempt to steal a diamond from a Minneapolis bank. From the opening scene, the tone is set, with Airplane-esque word understanding between prison guards and prisoners. This is further extended with the lack of secrecy among those in-the-know about the plan to break out of prison and steal the diamond, as Cooper the prison guard who was sworn to secrecy told a fellow prison guard about the plan, this then cascaded into a hilarious scene where everyone in the prison knows about the plan! These opening scenes not only introduced newcomers to Mischief Theatre’s comedic style, but it also helped to introduce the type of characters that Mitch and Cooper are, as they are going to feature heavily.
The visual comedy was brilliantly inventive, the pinnacle of this comedic style was the vertical perspective gag that was used in Threeboys’ office. I am certain that every audience member had their mouths open in awe at the finesse that the cast and crew managed to pull off that scene, the system of ropes, the furniture remaining in place, and of course the actors trying their best to navigate their unusual surroundings all combined to make for a scene that was utterly hilarious and also well performed.
Bank Robbery is another addition to Mischief Theatre’s growing catalogue of side-splitting and slick comedies, and I am sure that the success of the ‘Goes Wrong’ plays will be replicated and Bank Robbery will soon be following in the footsteps and begin a nationwide tour and potentially a stint on Broadway. Every member of cast and crew have contributed to create this wonderful theatre experience, full of jaw-aching laughter and physical feats that captivated the audience for well over two hours.
The Humpo Show | Richard