The Comedy About A Bank Robbery – Review – Leeds Grand Theatre
By @Steve Crabtree, October 2018
There aren’t many things that make me laugh hard. I can giggle at things and enjoy jokes, but it’s rare that I watch something that makes me start laughing and I’m simply unable to stop. But The Comedy About A Bank Robbery at Leeds Grand Theatre this week totally went against that grain.
In a pretty full theatre, with men, women and children alike, we’re in 1958 Minneapolis – and everyone’s a crook. The secret prison breakout to steal a diamond between a couple of inmates isn’t so much of a secret. Everyone wants in on the act – even the prison guards, much to the prisoners’ dismay.
“Fast-paced funny after funny”
The laughs begin from the first second, and the first act sets us up for the hilarity that’s to come our way over the next three hours.
From the off, it’s fast-paced funny after funny. Hilarity at it’s best, and we’ve not finished laughing at one thing before we start laughing again.
The farcical comedy looks to draw influences from some of the best comedies out there. I saw a bit of Bottom (the Rik Mayall/Ade Edmonson kind), Fawlty Towers, The Chuckle Brothers and a sprinkling of the Two Ronnies. The ‘Robin Freeboys’ scene was a show highlight, and a slick take on that ‘Four Candles’ sketch.
The Comedy About A Bank Robbery is full of wordplay. Relentless, funny wordplay which the characters act out in hilarious ‘village idiot’ style throughout.
It’s easy to forget there was a story line in and amongst the chaos, but the production was strong. It didn’t matter. We were regularly given a breather here and there from the laughter, to remind us where we were in the story, and to signpost where we were going next.
“Trouser dropping fun”
As the tale unfolds, we get thrown in to the robbery taking place. And the set – which is nicely switched around during scenes – becomes the focus of the fun, as a gravity-defying back-drop leads us in to the actual robbery itself.
The visual comedy aspect is superb. From facial expressions to zany body language. And the show wouldn’t have worked without expert comic timing when the funnies were being thrown out thick and fast. Each and every cast member absolutely nails it.
The gags about mistaken identity, the trouser-dropping fun, the on-stage confusion and anger all supplies us watching with a play that flies by so quickly.
And we even get a bit of a twist at the end of the production. It’s a great way to end a hilarious evening at Leeds Grand Theatre. The Comedy About A Bank Robbery is up there with some of the funniest things I’ve ever watched.
If you need a laugh, here’s your guarantee.