The Comedy About a Bank Robbery | Theatre Review
I went to see another Mischief Theatre Company show and it was great! My belly hurt from laughing. I think the highlights of this play – which is a comedy about a bank robbery don’t you know – was the staging and the set. One word: SUPERB!
I love the Mischief Theatre Company. Ever since I saw Peter Pan Goes Wrong on BBC at Christmas in 2016 I have followed their shows and I am speedily making my way around their repertoire. I only have The Play That Goes Wrong left to see on the West End and anything they bring out, or back, in future.
The Comedy about a Bank Robbery follows me seeing Mischief Movie Night a few weeks ago. Mischief Movie Night was hilarious! I could have wet myself, I laughed so much. But what made it so funny was the improvisation and the fact that the actors were having such a great time and clearly making fun of each of other. The strength of The Comedy about a Bank Robbery isn’t so much about the comedy itself as the way they do the comedy. The staging of the whole production is immense and insanely impressive.
They do a scene on the wall, in office wheeled chairs which roll!
It’s amazing what they have achieved, and how well it works.
The play itself is set in 1950s America. A bank robber, Mitch, has escaped prison to rob a Hungarian diamond from a bank in Missouri. He goes to his swindling girlfriend for help, just as she is attempting to swindle money out a young pickpocket who she thinks is a lawyer-doctor-rabbi. This young pickpocket gets roped into the scheme with her and her on-again-off-again boyfriend and all hell breaks loose.
The majority of the performance is set in two places: the bank (run by the swindling girlfriend’s fraudulent father) and the girlfriend’s (Carice is her name) flat.
The story is simple and anyone can guess how it is going to end, but it really doesn’t matter. You’re there for the silliness, and boy is it silly. From the seagulls: Simon and Deborah, may they rest in peace, to Carice’s various filings with an idiotically-in-love Canadian, the oldest man alive and a German, all of whom are played by the same man and in every scene they appear together. He jumps between all three characters at one go and even has a fight with them/himself for a good five minutes.
The weaknesses of the show, as for any comedy/pantomime, is the need for there to be a funny one-liner, joke or incident happening at every minute. Some are bound to be stronger than others and it does take a little while for the play to warm up and get into it’s full comedic stride.
Whereas the second act is boiling, the first act is only simmering.
I went with my friend Rob – Hi Rob! – and he and I were still giggling the following day, swapping one-liners over Twitter. I guarantee that no matter what there will be one gut-busting belly laugh in it for every viewer. For me, it was the seagulls, for Rob it was the simple act of attempting to throw a ball of paper into a waste paper bin whilst strapped to a wall.
If you get a chance to go see The Comedy about a Bank Robbery do it. Your cheeks will hurt from laughing.