So a year ago, I probably would have turned down an invite to the press night of this show. The title and plot really wouldn’t have peaked my interests at all. However, in the summer I saw The Play that Goes Wrong: a show written and performed by the same theatre company as this one, and I absolutely loved it. So, when I heard that Mischeif Theatre were back in Bristol with The Comedy About a Bank Robbery, I knew that I had to give it a go.
What is The Comedy about a Bank Robbery?
Much like The Play that Goes Wrong, Mischeif Theatre the title speaks for the play. It’s about a bank robbery… and it’s comedic… need I say more?
Honestly, apart from the fact that it was a comedy about a bank robbery, I had no clue what it was about. If I were to describe it now, I’d say that it was a show full of plot twists and laughs and the occasional musical number. Also, I don’t know what I was expecting, but it had way more of a plot than I thought it would.
What did I think?
Like I said, I had no real expectations (Although I expected it to be funny because of The Play that Goes Wrong). However, I really liked it! I wasn’t sure about it from the beginning… It began funny and I was laughing, but the humor was pretty basic and repetitive. I was a little worried that it would continue like that throughout and I’d be bored of the repetitive nature… However, it was just a nice easy start, and the humour evolved throughout.
As a theatre company that does ensemble pieces, it’s hard to pick out a defining character as they’re all so talented. I was going to do special shoutouts and then realised that I’d typed most of the cast out… But we’re going to embrace it anyway. Shoutout to David Coomber who played a loveable bumbling sidekick, Julia Firth who did an excellent job as Caprice Freeboys, Ashley Tucker who not only played a pretty endearing Ruth Monaghan, but also had an amazing voice, Liam Jeavons, our loveable and relatively charming villain, Damian Lynch as Robin Freeboys – a real scene stealer – and Tom Hopcroft, who did a really great job playing Sam Monaghan. Essentially, the whole ensemble cast did a fantastic job.
I say this with question marks because I wasn’t expecting songs at all. Like, of all the things I have lined up for the next couple of months, this was the only one that I was certain wasn’t a musical. However, before I knew it they broke into song and I was back in my element.
The songs aren’t actually musical-style songs, they’re covers of old songs (From a time period that I want to say is the 1960’s… but I am bad at placing time periods) and they’re used for transitional purposes. Basically, while a scene change is happening or they’re going through a car chase or escape scene, there will be a (Somewhat related but not as related as it would be in a musical) musical number happening.
The set was cute and worked for the play, but one scene completely blew me out of the water. During one robbery scene, they had characters crawling through a vent and decided to shift perspective and have floor be on the wall (Sounds complicated, guess you’re going to have to see it to know what I mean…) Not only was it great for comedic purposes (And may have been one of my favourite scenes in the whole play), but set design-wise it was so impressive and I was in awe of it. David Farley the set designer did great.
Get the program. I hoard programs from everything that I go to, but if you’re not that kind of person I still strongly recommend that you get this program. Mischeif theatre go above and beyond with their programs, themeing them to their plays and adding an element of theatricality. They’re fun to read and they have mini activities and a little comic strip all about Micheif Theatre.
Would I recommend?
Yes. If you’re a fan of slapstick and laughing, I would most definitely recommend. It’s a real cute night out.
Have you seen it? Do you want to? Let me know in the comments!
Lots of love,
This post is not sponsored. However, I was invited to the press night, which involved receiving a complimentary ticket to watch this performance. This does not affect the integrity of my review in any way though. If you would like to read more about my work with brands, you can do so here.