Another banker from the  Mischief makers

The latest piece of mischief-making from the creators of worldwide hit The Play That Goes Wrong tours to the Sheffield Lyceum next week in the shape of The Comedy About A Bank Robbery.

By Ian Soutar
Tuesday, 21 May, 2019, 14:14
The Comedy About a Bank Robbery

Mischief Theatre's smash-and-grab comedy caper has already established itself as a classic by entering its third year in the West End.

While The Play That Goes Wrong took amateur dramatics and theatrical slapstick as its source The Comedy About A Bank Robbery is inspired by old Hollywood heist movies and screwball comedies.

It is Summer 1958 and Minneapolis City Bank has been entrusted with a priceless diamond. An escaped convict is dead set on pocketing the gem with the help of his screwball sidekick, trickster girlfriend… and the maintenance man.

With mistaken identities, love triangles and hidden agendas, even the most reputable can't be trusted. In a town where everyone's a crook, who will end up bagging the jewel?

In addition to the inventive visual gags and physical slapstick, new to this production is a musical element, with sing-along numbers  reminiscent of Fifties  radio dramas.

Liam Jeavons plays hardman Mitch Ruscitti, the escaped con, with David Coomber as his hapless sidekick Neil Cooper. They hatch the plan to rob the bank because it happens to be run by the father of Mitch's old flame Caprice (Julia Frith).

But she’s a flighty one and her affections soon move on to charming petty crook Sam (Seán Carey), son of discontented bank employee Ruth Monaghan (Ashley Tucker).  Damian Lynch is the bank manager Robin Freeboys and Jon Trenchard the put-upon long-serving intern Warren.

George Hannigan is Everyone Else, at one point playing three characters at once engaged in a three-way fight, Killian Macardle plays Officer Randal Shuck with  Julie Cullen, Charlotte Duffy, Tom Hopcroft, Ross Virgo and Eddy Westbury in the ensemble..

Mischief founders Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields were  graduates from drama school who formed  an impro comedy troupe and then decided they wanted to do something more scripted.

The result was The Play That Goes Wrong about  an inept amateur dramatic company’s  attempt to put on a 1920s murder thriller, which started in pub theatre and the Edinburgh Fringe and rapidly moved into mainstream theatre.  It won numerous awards and opened on Broadway, was  translated and licensed for productions in more than 20 other countries,  and has tcome to Sheffield twice on  UK tours..

This year sees yet another chapter in the Mischief success story when in September it will begin a year long residency at the Vaudeville Theatre in London's West End, in addition to their still-running productions of The Play That Goes Wrong and The Comedy About a Bank Robbery.

Groan Ups, again written by Lewis, Sayer and Shields will be the first production running from September 20 to  December 1 featuring the original Mischief company playing both unruly schoolkids and adults in a piece about growing up,

Running over Christmas and into the new year will be Magic Goes Wrong, a collaboration between the company and Penn & Teller that combines the Mischief comedy format with  stage magic.

The Comedy About a Bank Robbery is at the Lyceum, Sheffield, from Wednesday to Saturday, May 29 to June 1.