Storyhouse, Chester – until 2 February 2019
Reviewed by Joseph Everton
Halfway through a triumphant tour of the UK, the hilarious The Comedy About a Bank Robbery by Mischief Theatre Company continued its march into a grateful Chester last night. This, the second time I have seen this gem, was another glorious night of theatre set in the wonderful Storyhouse. After the success of the Laurence Olivier award winning The Play That Goes Wrong, writers Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields are back with another crowd-pleaser.
After escaping from prison with the assistance of bent screws and their families (including a baby), Mitch Ruscitti (Eddy Westbury) heads back to 1950s Minneapolis to steal Prince Ludvig of Hungary’s (George Hannigan) half a million dollar diamond with the help of his man-eating girlfriend, Caprice (Julia Frith), from the Minneapolis City Bank- a ramshackle establishment and the last place anyone should stash anything of value. Throw in bank clerk Ruth Monaghan(Ashley Tucker ); her son and petty crook Sam (Sean Carey); ‘the most unfortunate man in the world’, Warren Slax (Jon Trenchard ); a flurry of relentless one liners and you have a recipe for laughter that is as almost as exhausting as reading this paragraph.
“This is the best comedy I’ve seen in years, is this” said the gentleman behind me during the interval and I scribbled down the quote happily. It was difficult to disagree. The reactions from the audience tell you everything you need to know about this show, with oohs, aahs, gasps, cheers and laughs abound. There are moments of real brilliance, leaving the audience desperate to show their appreciation. George Hannigan playing Caprice’s trio of manipulated admirers was hugely entertaining and, without wanting to spoil any surprises, the whole dimension flipping scene where the audience get a bird’s eye view of proceedings in the bank’s office was as impressive as it was hilarious. From perfect comic timing, boundless enthusiasm and heaps of athleticism to Ashley Tucker’s impassioned vocal performance, each and every aspect of The Comedy About a Bank Robbery was brilliant. A word must also go to David Farley, who brought life to the drab setting of a bank, ensuring that the audience never lost interest.
The Comedy About a Bank Robbery will wow crowds at Chester’s Storyhouse until 2nd February then continue it’s UK tour until early June. Get in from the cold, avoid the news and go and laugh at an outrageously funny show