So funny. We had previously seen The Play That Goes Wrong, which was brilliant, and Mischief Theatre now have this hilarious show too. It is, you guessed it, a comedy about a bank robbery. Set in 1950’s Minneapolis a convict escapes prison with his guard-friend to steal a diamond in a bank, but nothing ever goes to plan.
Staging and set design
The Criterion Theatre, just off Piccadilly Circus, is surprisingly spacious and beautiful considering how old it is. As you walk down the stairs into essentially the basement where the stage is the ceiling is magnificent and so colourful.
The sets are brilliant and the use of props are really interesting: you see a hilarious escape from prison, a very well choreographed car and motorcycle chase scene; inside, outside, and above the bank that will be robbed. The heist itself was really cleverly executed and you can tell there must have been a lot of rehearsals to get it all right.
By far the best set was where the audience are “looking down” on the bank, whilst the actors are suspended high up on the wall at the back of the stage – it was brilliant and hilarious, I had never seen anything like it on stage.
Not as slapstick as The Play That Goes Wrong but there are still a fair few good parts that does involve some physical comedy, mainly with the use of sets and staging, and some especially funny use of windows and birds. This one focuses more on wordplay, words with double meaning, miscommunication, and mistaken identity, which left me and everyone else roaring with laughter. I was literally screaming throughout one scene with charades, I couldn’t help it, it was so funny I was tearing up.
The actors were great and stayed in character the majority of the time. Some brilliant audience participation via a wolf whistle when one actor wasn’t wearing any trousers, which made him break character and reply “thanks” to the admirer in the audience, which produced more bellies of laughter. These actors are really talented with some amazing singing voices too. During set changes or to signify time passing, the actors dance and sing a little number and it’s so well choreographed.
A fair few twists towards the end, the ending was definitely not what I expected. Go watch it, it’s short, it’s sweet, and it’s by far one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen live on stage. Just brilliant. Standing ovation everywhere.