The Comedy About A Bank Robbery – Gaiety Theatre – Review by Letizia Delmastro
Dates – 7th May. – 11th May
The Comedy About a Bank Robbery delivers exactly what it says in the title: a bank does get robbed, and with plenty of laughs…but what happens behind the label makes it truly worth seeing.
Having finally landed in Dublin after years touring the UK and peaking in London’s West End, Mischief Theatre Company (already known for the world famous “The Play That Goes Wrong”) delivers an impressively high standard of performance.
The play is action-packed, filled with twist, turns and never drops its energy. Delivered on a large set that unpacks and unfolds to suit the scene’s needs, the actors lead the audience through the play’s storyline about love, redemption crime and…banking! Along the way it sprouts incessant comedy for all tastes: from subtle (and not so subtle) wordplay, to mistaken identities, cross dressing, hidden lovers, to poor old interns being beaten up by their boss.
Punctuated by the audience’s spontaneous gasps, laughs and claps, the action steadily moves forward without ever losing its momentum; and between the action all transitions manage to awe too, with songs performed by the talented Ashley Tucker (also playing Ruth Monaghan) and Jon Trenchard (playing the poor Warren Slax) and accompanied by entertaining ensemble pieces.
Throughout the play the Stanley-and-Ollie inspired routines showcase all of the actor’s best strengths: even the understudies leave a lasting impression with their handling of the recurring theme of characters being attacked by seagulls. Although the whole cast performs to an excellent standard, the true stars of the show are Julia Frith (playing Caprice Freeboys), who made her professional debut in this play, and George Hannigan (Playing Everyone Else). Frith charms the audience with her beauty, wit and talent, and brings her character to a refreshing depth; at the same time Hannigan truly showcases himself, playing multiple characters at once (who all end up in a fight!) and finding new shades of comedy for each one of them.
The Comedy About a Bank Robbery brings the giant West End performance to a Dublin stage, but still manages not to be pretentious. Go see it for a night of light-hearted laughter that will lift you from your daily routine and make you forget all your problems for a couple of hours. Their opening night was concluded by a full-audience standing ovation and I’d expect the rest of the run to follow suit!