This is rather a tricky review to write, because there's only so many ways one can say "it was totally hilarious and brilliant" without sounding too repetitive, or looking like a completely incompetent writer. The Comedy About a Bank Robbery is totally hilarious and brilliant.
In essence, the plot is simple; a criminal named Mitch escapes jail with the help of a guard named Cooper, and together the pair try to steal a precious diamond from Minneapolis bank. In reality, the plot is interwoven with so many subplots that it's too much to explain here. You really need to watch the show to appreciate all the intricately woven threads that come together in one really, really funny show.
The energy of the whole cast is infectious from the start; they're having a great time and so consequently we love it all the more. The gags come thick and fast. Arguably the first half was slower and not as funny as the second half but really, though, that only sets up an exceedingly clever, very physical, and riotous conclusion to the show. You know when people say they laughed so hard they couldn't breathe? I genuinely couldn't breathe.
The central trio of Mitch (Liam Jeavons), Caprice (Julia Frith), and Sam (played last night by Tom Hopcroft) deserve special mention for their amazing physical prowess. I still haven't accomplished the rope climb from primary school PE, so how they managed to pull off a scene in which all three of them are dangling from the rafters on ropes is beyond me. Also, a shout out to Liam Jeavons for being able to catch a book thrown to him while hanging from said rope. I'm intrigued to know how much practise that took.
Praise due to the entire cast, though. This is a show that is clearly a team effort, and if one of them wasn't on form, or made a mistake, the whole show would have suffered for it. George Hannigan, billed as playing "everyone else," did a sterling job, as did Jon Trenchard as the lovable Warren Slax. I also loved the singing from the whole cast, especially Ashley Tucker as Ruth Monaghan.
I've been a fan of Mischief Theatre ever since the tested my pelvic floor muscles with their production of Peter Pan Goes Wrong. The Comedy About a Bank Robbery is another fine addition to their collection of outstanding comedies. It's silly, it's clever, it's funny, and it's also a show with real heart. Just don't drink too much water before going in, take tissues to mop the streaming tears of laughter, and remember to breathe.