Mischief theatre have become a modern day fairy tale for any aspiring drama school graduates. Having started producing their shows for pub theatres, the company have gone from strength to strength, with numerous West End hits, regional tours, a Broadway run, BBC Christmas specials and a goddam Olivier! Not a bad 10 years all in all.
One of the newer additions to Mischief’s repertoire, A Comedy About A Bank Robbery does exactly what it says on the tin. The show is a bit of a departure from Mischief’s usual ‘Gone Wrong’ parody which features a roster of characters from the Cornley Polytechnic Amateur Dramatic Society whose attempts to put on a show are thwarted by their own ineptitude. In A Comedy About a Bank Robbery, Mischief move away from this formula and have created a straight farce without the usual self referential humour, but it works! The show is akin to Faulty Towers and Only Fools and Horses in its good natured and light hearted humour which has audience members of all ages giggling along.
Without giving too much of the story away, the show follows an escaped convict and prison guard who plot to steal a diamond currently residing in Robin Freeboy’s Minneapolis Bank, but it ends up not being quite as simply as they planned. As the self important, blustering Robin Freeboys, Leonard Cook brings a touch of the Brian Blessed and Colonel Sanders to the role, filling the stage with his presence. As our romantic lead and part time crook Sam Monaghan, West End newcomer Sam Fogell is hilarious as he spritely darts about stage and when paired with Jenna Augen, their chemistry is exciting to watch. Augen is a natural comedienne, darting between accents and physicality while keeping the humour punchy.
I’m trying to remember the last time I laughed so hard at the theatre and I think it must have been at Mischief’s Peter Pan Gone Wrong. They have truly conquered the West End with their unique brand of slapstick, word play and their irrepressibly British sense of humour. Nan’s birthday coming up? Take her to see this show. Anniversary treat to plan? Take them to see this show. In fact, why are you reading this review? Go and see this show!
Reviewed by Roz Carter
Photo: Robert Workman