Farcical comedy is a gem of a genre and one that is very difficult to get right, but when done well, it is side-splittingly funny. Mischief Theatre’s ‘Comedy about a Bank Robbery’ gets it right and is fun, fast paced and farcical with a laugh every minute.
Mischief Theatre was formed by a group of LAMDA graduates in 2008 and they started with ‘The Play that Goes Wrong’ which opened on the West End in 2014 and is still running after 5 years with a an Olivier award for Best Comedy, a UK tour last year and several international tours. ‘The Comedy about a Bank Robbery’ opened in 2016 and is currently still open on the West End alongside their UK tour.
‘A Comedy about a Bank Robbery’ is a more narrative-based play as opposed to ‘A Play that Goes Wrong’, which is a metatheatrical show. Therefore, Bank Robbery requires complicated staging to make sure the jokes land fully and the farcical nature of the show is fully realised, and this is carried out beautifully with moments of awe amongst the hysteria.
The show is based around a stereotypical comedy bank robbery, whereby a gang breaks out of prison and attempts to rob a small, dingy bank who are looking after a rare and priceless diamond for the Prince of Hungary.
The gags and jokes are very clever. This, both in the form of the script, which is full of puns and confusion, alongside the staging which provides physical and slapstick humour alongside the incredibly innovative staging. One of the highlights of the staging includes a perspective illusion that lets the audience see the actors and the scene from a bird’s eye view.
The acting from all the company is astounding with perfect comedic timing and fast paced, complex scenes that are clearly slick with no moments of weakness visible to the audience. The writing leaves little to be desired as the audience are bombarded with jokes in every line, leaving little time for breathing amongst the laughter!
The interludes between the scenes were filled with singing and music from the actors which was truly lovely and left the audience engaged the whole time with music that related to the story. This worked really well and meant that there were not slumps between the high paced action of the scenes and the transitions.
PHOTO: Capital Theatres