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Review: The Comedy About A Bank Robbery – laugh-a-minute daftness from the experts

Mischief Theatre doesn’t seem to put a great deal of effort into the titles of its productions. Its multi-award-winning The Play That Goes Wrong is a play that goes wrong, and opening at the New Theatre tonight (Monday October 9th) was The Comedy About A Bank Robbery, which is exactly that – and a very funny one.

Thankfully, it puts a lot of effort into the productions themselves – writing, staging, and performances are all spot-on, to create another absolutely hilarious show.

In Minneapolis in 1958, an escaped crook reunites with his two-, three-, four-, make that five-timing girlfriend, to steal a precious diamond from the less-than-reputable City Bank.

Their ‘gang’ is completed by a bent prison guard (with a love of amateur dramatics) and a young pickpocket, who may also be a doctor, lawyer, and rabbi. What could possibly go wrong?

Well, there are complications – their raid coincides with the VIP visit of the Prince of Hungary, and the bank manager’s long awaited interview with the local newspaper.

Add to that various love triangles, disguises and mistaken identities in the city where ‘everyone is a crook’, and you just know it isn’t going to be the smoothest of operations.

With echoes of Abbott and Costello, the Marx Brothers, Jim Carrey, and classic bedroom farce, the show is a non-stop barrage of laughs from high-speed wordplay to acrobatic stunts to a man getting slapped around the head (many times).

At times the humour is a little dark – not everyone makes it out alive, and a couple of seagulls come to a particularly unfortunate end. But it’s all very funny!

There’s some foot-tapping ’50s rock ‘n’ roll to help the action along, and some ingenious staging, which has actors and props defying gravity (at least for a while).

If you enjoyed The Play That Goes Wrong or the same company’s Mischief Movie Night, or if you have even the faintest trace of a sense of humour, you will surely love this – it’s laugh-a-minute daftness from the experts.

The Comedy About a Bank Robbery plays at Cardiff’s New Theatre until Saturday (October 13th). Tickets are available from newtheatrecardiff.co.uk and on 029 2087 8889.

Review by Andrew Weltch

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