Reviewed by Jenny Seymour
Slapstick comedy at its best. From the very first scene I was reminded of classic scenes from the “Airplane” – “Don’t call me Shirley!”. The farce runs from start to finish and had us roaring with laughter.
From the writers of “The Play that Goes Wrong” – Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields – credit has to go to them for coming up with yet another comic masterpiece!
The play starts with Mitch Ruscitti in prison, who (with the aid of his guard) manages to break out and plan the biggest heist of all! They plan to steal a diamond worth $500m from the Minneapolis City Bank.
Almost at the end of the tour (Sheffield is the penultimate leg) – this is one of the last opportunities to see this fabulous show. It will have you screaming with laughter as you guess what is about to happen next and screech at the surprises they have in store. The acting is superb and the comic timing is amazing – especially with the speed at which some of the dialogue is delivered – incredible!
All of the cast played their parts so well. I was going to give special mention to certain cast members, but then I found myself listing almost all of them! From the hilarious Jon Trenchard (as the unfortunate, but incredibly funny 67-year-old intern, Warren Slax) to Eddy Westbury who was the understudy playing Robin Freeboys, then the scenes between the ultimate pretenders Sam Monaghan (Sean Carey) and Caprice Fourboys (Julia Frith) were fabulous. The energy that was put into the scene in Caprice’s flat was just amazing and the fight George Hanningan has with himself as “everyone else” (i.e. Caprice’s 3 unsuspecting lovers) will have you almost crying with laughter. These scenes are so complicated, they require everyone to be spot on – and they all were!
The quality of the singing is superb (usually between scenes) and Ashley Tucker’s voice (as Ruth Monaghan) fits so well with the 50s set. Her duets with Officer Shuck (Killian Macardle) were great.
In the 2nd Act in particular, you are treated to some of the best aerial performances I have seen in theatre recently – very clever! I would have said that the set was outstanding (as it was incredibly inventive), but actually in parts at the beginning of the play, it was a bit clunky – quite off-putting when the movement of the set was louder than the singing that was intended to distract us. At times this meant you couldn’t quite hear the key punchlines (and we were sat in the stalls, so it may have been even harder in the balcony). However, the use of props in the set was phenomenal: the foldaway bed in Caprice’s apartment causing many a laugh and the sheet which doubles as Caprice’s bed and a cinema screen was very clever; not to mention the moustaches which grow with seniority or senility!!!
All in all, a great night of comedy entertainment with laughs running from start to finish – just what the doctor ordered. I loved it! …and do take the time to read the programme – there are some hilarious bits in the Minneapolis Star (not least the advice given on Mother Monaghan’s agony aunt page!).
Slapstick comedy at its best – very clever. The speed and physicality of the comedy is fabulous! Had us screaming with laughter!
Tickets cost from £15 (booking fees may apply).
The Comedy about a Bank Robbery is at the Lyceum Theatre in Sheffield from 29 May to 1 June 2019, for more information or to book tickets visit www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk or call the box office on 0114 249 6000.
Please note: If you park in the local Q Park car park, remember to claim your 1 hour FREE ticket from one of the members of the theatre staff before you leave.
Lyceum Theatre, Norfolk St, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, S1 1DA | 0114 249 6000