Reviewed by Tricia Shaw
When looking through the theatre brochure I originally dismissed this production until a friend of mine told me about “The Play That Goes Wrong”. I am so glad that I changed my mind; this production had me laughing from start to finish. I took my 14-year-old daughter with me and just like me she laughed the whole way through. I don’t think my 10-year-old son would have understood it well enough to enjoy it properly, not to mention the bedroom scene which would probably have had him hiding behind his coat.
Set in America in the late 50s, this is primarily a story about an inmate breaking out of prison to carry out a bank heist for a huge diamond. However, there are other subplots that add to the amusement of the whole play including Caprice’s numerous lovers and Sam’s conman antics.
The script is very cleverly written with a good range of “Dad” humour and quick wit; you have to keep listening carefully as you don’t want to miss a thing! The visual jokes are just as comical and as you could often see where things were heading this anticipation added to the laughter and enjoyment of the play.
To single out any one character as being exceptional or a favourite would just be unfair; they were all fantastic. Nonetheless, David Coomber as the rather dim-witted Coop was a clear favourite with my daughter and I loved the performances from the three “Freeboys”. Sam Monaghan (Seán Carey) and Caprice Freeboys (Julia Frith) made a great pair playing charades to get out of a difficult situation. Warren Slax (played by Jon Trenchard), the loyal bank clerk was hilarious in his role. Playing a variety of characters, George Hannigan gave an amazing performance fighting with himself! They are a very talented cast.
Despite some fairly complex scenery the changes were seamless. My mind was completely blown by the ingenious way in which the office scene from above was created. The props were very cleverly used and easily led the audience to use their imaginations just as theatre should. There was a huge amount of slapstick and the whole show was amazingly well choreographed particularly the scene in the vault.
Interspersed with some excellent music and acapella singing from the cast there was never a dull moment and it was over all too soon. The ending however was not what I had been expecting!
I haven’t laughed so much in ages; I would go back again tonight if I could!
The Comedy about a Bank Robbery is a Mischief Theatre production presented by Kenny Wax and Stage Presence Ltd in association with The Birmingham Repertory Theatre. They are currently on tour in the UK visiting Leicester (26-30 Mar), Southampton (2-6 Apr), Eastbourne (16-20 Apr), Poole (23-27 Apr), Dublin (7-11 May), Edinburgh (14-18 May), Sheffield (29 May – 1 June), and Liverpool (4-8 June). It can also be seen in the West End at the Criterion Theatre.
Tickets cost from £13 to £37.40 (plus £3.65 transaction fee).
The Comedy About A Bank Robbery is at the Waterside Theatre in Aylesbury from 12-16 March 2019, for more information or to book tickets visit www.atgtickets.com/aylesbury or call the box office on 0844 871 7607.
Waterside Theatre, Exchange Street, Aylesbury, Bucks, HP20 1UG | 0844 871 7607