The Comedy About A Bank Robbery is a farcical play from the Mischief Theatre Group, written by Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields, and it made its world premiere on 31st March 2016 in the West End’s Criterion Theatre.
It is set in Minneapolis, a town where everyone is a crook and the new interstate highway is causing crime rates to soar even further. The story follows one giant diamond belonging to Prince Ludvig of Hungary, which being kept in a bank with poor security and there are seven people trying to steal it.
Our crooks are: Caprice Freeboys, the criminally manipulative and flirtatious gold-digger and bank manager’s daughter; Mitch Ruscitti, the escaped prisoner on the run from the law, boyfriend of Caprice and mastermind of the operation; Sam Monaghan, Caprice’s love interest and the “innocent” pick-pocket who is involuntarily roped into the robbery; Neil Cooper, the show-tunes loving and amateur dramatics enthusiast; Robin Freeboys, the bank manager with a reputation for robbing everyone and a sketchy personal life involving sex therapists and indecent oil paintings; Officer Randal Shuck, the love-struck officer who entrusts the diamond to Freeboys’ bank; and Ruth Monaghan, Sam’s mother and bank worker whose favourite phrase is “everyone in this town is a crook”. Innocent bystanders in the plot are: Warren Slax, a long-serving intern at the bank and one of the unfortunate men under Caprice’s spell; and Freeboys’ nephew, the sleeping-on-the-job security guard.
Charlie Russell (Lights! Camera! Improvise!, The Play That Goes Wrong, Peter Pan Goes Wrong) gives a standout performance as Caprice. The three writers of the play, (Henry Shields (writer, The Play That Goes Wrong, Peter Pan Goes Wrong, The Nativity Goes Wrong), Jonathan Sayer (writer, The Play That Goes Wrong, Peter Pan Goes Wrong) and Henry Lewis (writer, The Play That Goes Wrong, Peter Pan Goes Wrong)) are all fantastic starring in their own creation as Mitch, Warren and Robin.
The play’s comic essence includes wordplay, physical comedy and much more. There are countless misunderstandings resulting from the misinterpretation of words – for example “Robin Freeboys” is heard as “robbing three boys” and “Neil” being mistaken for “kneel”. There are scenes involving beds popping up and down and crooks swinging from the ceiling where timing is everything and the genius of the versatile set (designed by David Farley) comes to life.
The Comedy About A Bank Robbery is a hysterical farce revolving around several calamitous plots to steal the diamond. The whole play hinges wonderfully on perfect timing, misunderstandings and simulated disaster which look genuine every time – another smash-hit from the Mischief Theatre Company!
The Comedy About A Bank Robbery is currently booking at the Criterion Theatre until October 2017 book tickets here. For more information on your visit to the Criterion Theatre, visit West End Theatre Guide’s website.