Mischief Theatre have created a show that is very different from the last two productions that they have produced, taking a very different brand of comedy and once again making it their own, using their own unique and brilliant style.
Written by Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields, the show follows a group of ‘mastermind’ criminals as they attempt to steal a diamond from a bank. As ever the plan doesn’t quite come off…
The brilliancy of these shows by Mischief Theatre is the reluctance to ruin anything for anyone planning on going to see it – in a similar way to not revealing the ending for The Mousetrap. The jokes are fast and furious but there is also surprisingly a sense of drama beneath the humour as well – as several incidents prove during the second act.
It certainly has a more grown up feel about it that shows a sense of change of direction that is refreshing to see as it would have been too easy to create another ‘Goes Wrong’ show just for ease and convenience. But The Comedy About a Bank Robbery is a confident attempt by all to create something a bit more challenging for themselves and surprising for the audience.
Another example of how Mischief Theatre have taken it up a notch is the fantastic stunt work involved – just when you think it couldn’t get bigger or better, it does – the burglary is one of the most inventive things I have seen performed on stage for a long time.
Although there is still plenty of physical comedy involved, there is certainly more wordplay involved this time around that really makes you think and at times it ties the audience up in knots – so special applause the cast managing to learn their lines and say it with ease.
It is wonderful to see many of the original cast back on stage, from Henry Shields as the aggressive but occasionally clueless Mitch, Dave Hearn as Sam who tries his best to help – but makes situations worse and Charlie Russell as Caprice the deceitful con artist whose character softens over time.
The set designed by David Farley has many different parts and is very functional and adaptable to many of the different scenes and plays as big part of the show as any of the cast, leading to many hilarious incidents with beds and office cupboards.
Although perhaps some of the scenes could be edited down slightly, such as the scene in Caprice’s flat-which is just slightly too long and relies on the same joke to keep up the pace, everything moves as smoothly as you would expect from a production of this kind.
It is great to see that Mischief Theatre have become confident enough to create a completely different type of comedy show, that has plenty of energy and even more laughs than ever before. Not only do they make comedy that looks easy to replicate, but it is also the way in which they create characters that people can identify with and like with ease. Don’t miss it.
The Comedy About a Bank Robbery is booking at the Criterion Theatre until the 2nd October. To book tickets visit: Ticketmaster.co.uk, Discount Theatre.com, Last Minute.com, Theatre Tickets Direct.co.uk, Love Theatre.com, Theatre People.com and UK Tickets.co.uk.