You know that it’s going to be an enjoyably daft comedy when the initial amusing lines come thick and fast, within seconds, in a style not so far removed from the clever verbiage of the cult film Airplane. Surely not? Yes they do and don’t call me Shirley. This popular touring production of The Comedy About A Bank Robbery devised and written by Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields and tour directed by Kirsty Patrick Ward is a sparkling diamond of theatrical lunacy. Mischief Theatre Company are the originators of this splendid night out at the theatre. If you have seen The Play That Goes Wrong you will love this.
There are a constant flow of laugh out loud moments where the comical contrivances seem anything but contrived. Running gags are joyfully picked up by the audience once they are let into the secrets unfolding and the ever hilarious moments just get funnier and more inventive and end up being truly and delightfully farcical.
If Whitehall farce icon Brian Rix were alive today he would totally adore this show and its trouser dropping bonkers assemblage and fast paced action.
The continually ever-changing sets (set designer David Farley) have strong aspects of simplistic comic book versatility about them. Their comings and goings are admirably handled by the cast and crew who are kept continually on their toes throughout both acts. The second half back wall perspective of the bank offices are particularly effective contra – expectations – the effect of which – allows our audience anticipations to be subverted and delightfully surprised.
… a sparkling diamond of theatrical lunacy.
The cast. Yes there is indeed a cast (thank goodness) and they are all universally brilliant. Collectively they rinse every drop of comedy out of the evening’s entertainment and more. First of all we would like to mention the three guys who have their professional débuts in this touring production. What an adventure George Hanningan (Everyone Else), local chap Tom Hopcroft (understudy/ensemble) and Ross Virgo (understudy/ensemble) must be having! They blend in perfectly and are hilarious!
Liam Jeavons (Mitch Ruscitti), David Coomber (Neil Cooper), Damian Lynch (Robin Freeboys), Jon Trenchard (Warren Stax), Sean Carey (Sam Monaghan), Ashley Tucker (Ruth Monaghan), Julia Frith (Caprice Freeboys) and Killian Macardle (Officer Randle Shuck) make up the uproarious cast principles and like the whole ensemble they work incredibly hard to make us double up laughing and succeed 200%.
Within the barmy show plot to steal the famous 300 carat colourless Maguvin diamond centre piece of the Hungarian crown jewels belonging to Prince Ludwig of Hungary we collide with vicious seagulls, encounter a bed with a mind of its own, collude with slamming doors in proper farce style, hear period songs joyfully expressed, meet characters who are several personalities at once, engage with amorous lust gone crazy, recoil from scary gun shots in the dark and become shocked at double dealing in a world where everyone is a criminal even the law upholders! For a great night out it would indeed be criminal not to book tickets right now! Highly recommended.
The Comedy About A Bank Robbery runs at Nottingham Theatre Royal until Saturday 29th September 2018.
Reviewer: Phil Lowe.