I was invited to watch The Comedy About A Bank Robbery at the Criterion Theatre in London and I was accompanied by my son who is 11 years old.
The play begins with a daring prison break, aided by the prison guards themselves. From the beginning, the actors burst onto the stage with energy and verve. It is hard to believe they will be able to keep this pace for the whole play (they do!). It’s hard not to be swept up with the energy and frantic humour.
The cast are talented singers, and songs are intertwined with the frantic set changes and action scenes which are so brilliantly choreographed. A chace scene is brought alive by a fast paced frantic song sung by a cast member moving between the prop cars as others with lights and road signs run by. The timing and pace of the whole play is extraordinary and at times it can be hard to keep up!
The jokes are thick and fast and take no prisoners. It hurt to laugh so hard and if I was to give you advice it would be to bring tissues as you will be crying with laughter; in fact, be sure to go to the toilet before the performance! The slapstick and physical humour is amazing and we laughed at every joke. There is a moment in the first half of the play where two lovers are caught in a dangerous game of charades as one answers questions that the other knows but can’t say, as they stand behind desperately miming the answers. It’s a joke that’s been done before but that didn’t matter, it never felt tired and was one of the most stomach achingly funny things I have seen in long time; who knew there were so many places in America with ass in the name!
My 11 year old son adored it but I would be hesitant to take any child younger as there are one or two risqué moments and mild swearing. There is one part involving yelling “son of a bitch!” Repeatedly, and not all the cast members survive to the end! Joseph’s favourite moment was a bit acted entirely on a wall. They cleverly change the perspective of the stage so the back wall looks like the ground, as two of the cast are sat on seats nailed to the wall. They manage to move about using ropes and pulleys and even pour tea.
This play is so clever and so funny and filled with energy. The atmosphere in the audience was amazing and we enjoyed every moment.
NB: We received tickets to see the The Comedy About A Bank Robbery at the Criterion Theatre but all views and opinions are my own. You can buy tickets to see The Comedy About A Bank Robbery at the Criterion Theatre here.