The Comedy About a Bank Robbery, Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, until 9 March.
If you want an evening of laughing uproariously, groaning at wordplays, and admiring perfect comic timing and acrobatic manoeuvres this is the night you need.
Mitch breaks out of jail, but somehow a camp guard ends up tagging along to help him rob a Minneapolis bank. Girlfriend Caprice has met a new man, who is unfortunately visiting as Mitch arrives, and through mistaken identity also gets roped in. And at the bank, managed by Caprice’s dad, no one is quite who they seem.
This plot is the vehicle for incredibly funny scenes which comes as no surprise to anyone who’s seen previous award-winning Mischief Theatre productions The Play That Goes Wrong and Peter Pan Goes Wrong.
When Caprice invites Sam back and reveals a pull-down bed you know it’s going to trap someone against the wall at least once, but it’s no less funny when it does. And when Mitch appears it leads to one of the longest, unlikeliest and funniest bedroom scenes ever as Sam tries to escape the lovers’ antics and the room, without success.
Julia Frith is excellent as Caprice, specially in her charades behind Mitch’s back as she tries to tell Sam what to say as he interprets her father (try Vegas as a charade).
And understudy Ross Virgo, playing Warren on the first night, an intern for 30 years, takes a battering with sticks, books and the desk but survives brilliantly.
The sets as ever are fantastic, specially one in which the audience look down into the bank as the actors are suspended on the wall, and there is a satisfying proper ending.
You don’t need to be intellectually challenged every time you go to the theatre, but it
takes a lot of clever writing and directing to create a show as funny as this.