It is 1958 and an invaluable diamond has been left in the care of the local bank in a town where everyone is a crook and nobody can be trusted – no issue, right? Ha!
I went to see Comedy About a Bank Robbery on Sunday 22nd January at the Criterion Theatre in London. My friend and I managed to get £40 tickets in Row F of the stalls from Get Into London Theatre. Brilliant.
Initially, I was a little unsure what to expect but after hearing so much hype about it, I went in with an open mind and was not disappointed. Being a Sunday matinee, a number of the understudies were on but as I know from past experiences, this never has a negative effect on the show, the understudies are just as good, in some cases even better, than the main actor.
Jailbird Mitch, played by Henry Shields, teams up with Cooper, Greg Tannahill, as they plan to rob Minneapolis City Bank and steal the diamond. Of course, this is further complicated by Mitch’s girl and bank manager’s, Henry Lewis, daughter Caprice, played by Ellie Morris, falling for Sam, Gareth Tempest, the son of receptionist/PA, Ruth, Holly Sumpton. How very complicated!
This group of actors are truly a joy and a pleasure to watch in such a hilarious piece of theatre combined fantastically with a few 50s pieces of music throughout the show, which only added to the quirkiness.Each actor plays a very different role yet each have the knack of comedy timing down to perfection – a scene that I found particularly comedically written and acted was the scene where Sam disguised himself as Mr Freeboys and was telling ‘his’ life story to Caprice’s boyfriend, Mitch as acted by Caprice from behind Mitch’s back. Perhaps the most rib-tickling ten minutes of my life ever, utter genius.
Chris Leask definitely deserves a mention for his role as ‘Everyone Else’. That’s not a character name, he literally played everyone else and was brilliant. It must be extremely challenging playing a number of different roles, however small, however he managed to get every single one distinct and identifiable.
At the end of the play, a couple of the actors were collecting for LAMDA, so my friend had a very brief chat with the marvellous Jonathan Sayer, who played the role of Warren and was as lovelier and courteous man as he is a brilliant comedy actor.
Comedy About a Bank Robbery is currently booking up to the 27th October 2017, however I have no doubt that it will extend later on this year so there really is no excuse not to grab yourself some tickets and go and have a good old laugh. After all, laughter is the best medicine.