Theatre review by Julia Pattison - The Comedy About a Bank Robbery at Grand Opera House York

The Comedy About A Bank Robbery
The Comedy About A Bank Robbery

Play: The Comedy About A Bank Robbery

Venue: Grand Opera House York

Dates: UK Tour until 8 June 2019

Review by: Julia Pattison

Mischief Theatre Company made a most welcome return to York with their latest production The Comedy About A Bank Robbery.

My guest and I attended Press Night and we didn’t stop laughing all night, along with the packed audience; those Brexit Blues blown away completely for a while!

In their now famous “Goes Wrong” style, this new show was more ambitious than ever, with crucial comedy staging and acting, ensuring that this talented and physically fit cast got things exactly right.

Written by Mischief’s Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields this was a stylish 50s American crime caper, chaotic and plastered with puns, mixing up the best of The Two Ronnies, Fawlty Towers and Michael Frayn to create their own frantic farce style.

Eddy Westbury was superb as Jail Busting criminal Mitch Ruscitti (he won’t be an understudy for long, that’s for sure!), as was George Hannigan playing Everyone Else. His physical slapstick was awesome, particularly in a mind-blowing scene where he played three characters at once; he much deserved the rapturous applause.

Sean Carey wowed us all as Sam Monaghan with his agility in the hilarious bedroom farce capers, and Julia Frith was delightfully devious as Caprice Freeboys who was a chip off the old block of her sly bank manager father, Robin Freeboys, played brilliantly by Damian Lynch.

Wonderful shenanigans between Sam’s Mum, bank receptionist Ruth (Ashley Tucker)and Officer Randal Shuck (Killian Macardle), with great performances too from David Coomber playing Mitch’s rather dim cell mate Neil Cooper, who was more of a hindrance than a help in Mitch’s plans to steal a priceless diamond from the corrupt Minneapolis bank. We laughed and cried at the same time at treatment meted out to poor lovelorn Warren Slax, played masterfully by Jon Trenchard who was no slacker when it came to slapstick comedy scenes.

There were catchy musical numbers throughout the production, using the bare minimum of props to great effect; dynamic teamwork at its best.

In one scene, the set (designed by David Farley ) was the star of the show; an optical illusion that took your breath away.

Carefully choreographed chaos at its best; I particularly enjoyed the gymnastic, highly entertaining diamond heist scene and can’t wait to see what other Mischief this talented Theatre Company create in the future.