The Comedy About a Bank Robbery (
Often when a play opens at the Waterside Theatre in
Aylesbury, the cavernous space that seats 1200 provides a challenge for the
actors to be heard.  It was refreshing to
hear from the very first line that this group of extremely talented actors knew
how to project and give 100% energy from start to finish.  The puns were relentless in the first scene
and what I also noticed was that they had all worked hard to have an American
accent that sounded as though they all lived in Minneapolis.  That’s quite a feat in itself, as often a
company will have a variety of regional accents that drift in and out, but this
company were on it all the way through.  That
tells me that this is a company that works and works to get things right and it
shows.  Farce is one of the most
difficult genres to perform anyway, but with this level of physical theatre and
slapstick to contend with as well, they all put everything into the
performance.  I felt quite exhausted by
the end and was glad I wasn’t in it!

Mischief Theatre was formed in 2008 by former students of
LAMDA Drama School and created the award winning The Play That Goes Wrong,
which has now played in every continent except Antarctica. Capitalising on a
successful formula, they’ve gone on the create Peter Pan Goes Wrong and
Christmas Carol Goes Wrong.  In 2018
Mischief receives its fourth Olivier nomination for Mischief Movie Night.

The premise of ‘Bank Robbery’ is that a couple of prisoners
break out of jail to try and steal a priceless diamond that has been entrusted
to the City Bank.  Everyone’s a crook,
including the prison guards and they want a piece of the action too, so the
breakout is just the beginning of the mayhem. 
It’s very, very funny and is a full-on assault on the senses barely giving
you time to take in what’s happening as the action moves forward so rapidly.

The cast are all superb; Liam Jeavons, David Coomber, George
Hannigan, Damian Lynch, Jon Trenchard, Sean Carey, Killian Maccardle with Julia
Frith and Ashley Tucker also giving some powerful singing.

The set design, by David Farley, is incredible.  There was a safety issue in the second half
which closed the stage down for about 5 minutes, but once the scene was
underway we understood why.  Actors were
seemingly sitting on the back wall and having to move around, which created an optical
illusion that took a few minutes to understand. 

When you’re writing comedy it’s easy to keep adding more and
more madcap ideas into the mix, but sometimes that makes it difficult to make
cuts and I do think this would benefit from about 20 minutes being taken
out.  It’s fantastic fun though and we
all need a good laugh and a bit of escapism, so why not give yourself a treat
and book a ticket?

For tour details visit:

Reviewed by:

Yvonne Delahaye