West End hit The Comedy About a Bank Robbery coming to Norwich
PUBLISHED: 15:10 09 October 2018 | UPDATED: 15:27 09 October 2018
They say that crime never pays but The Comedy About A Bank Robbery, the latest comedy from acclaimed Mischief Theatre, proves it can steal plenty of laughs.
Written by Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields, who previously enjoyed success with the Olivier Award-winning Best New Comedy The Play That Goes Wrong and Peter Pan Goes Wrong, this latest smash-and-grab hit is a fast, fabulous comedy caper.
The show, which comes to Norwich Theatre Royal from Tuesday 16 October to Saturday 20 October, is already a big success in the West End.
Think Ocean’s Eleven meets the Marx Brothers, but with a very British sensibility.
“It features all the quintessential parts of British humour,” said Jon Trenchard, who plays the character Warren Slax as part of the ensemble cast. “There are little bits of slapstick, verbal puns, door slammings, situational farce, elements of Fawlty Towers, even occasionally unexpected absurdity that remind you of Monty Python, all rolled into one.”
But whilst the humour is very British, the setting is very American.
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?
Jon explained: “As the title suggests it is about a diamond heist and is based on a real story that the writers found had happened in Minneapolis. “However, I don’t think any of the characters are based on real people, it’s just pure comedy.
“Minneapolis is in the Midwest near the Canadian border and we all have these strange accents which will be familiar to anyone who has ever seen the film Fargo.
“It is a strange Scandinavian and Scottish twang on the American vowel sounds which has been quite fun to do.”
It has meant mastering the accent with the help of a specialist coach.
Jon plays 67-year-old Warren Slax, who during casting was described to him as “eternally unfortunate”.
“Everything goes wrong for him,” he laughed. “He is an intern at the bank and is looked down on by Mr Freeboys the bank manager. He reminds me a little bit of some of the characters I’ve played in pantomime. I get hit quite a lot.
“The characters in this play, as well as fulfilling the comedy, there is a lot of heart in them, and Warren, bless him, even though he is 67 has never been in love until just recently and a lot of his story is about loving a younger woman who doesn’t love him back.
“That pathos helps to make the comedy even more hilarious.”
The Comedy About A Bank Robbery differs from previous Mischief Theatre productions in being a period piece and featuring songs.
Jon said: “It is set in 1958 and in a departure from Mischief’s previous shows this one has got quite a lot of a cappella singing in it.
“We have got some fantastic rock ‘n’ roll music as the soundtrack which we are all singing along to as a sort of doo-wop band. There is a great 1950s feel running throughout.”
The Comedy About A Bank Robbery comes to Norwich Theatre Royal Tuesday 16 to Saturday 20 October at 7,30pm, with matinee performances on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday.
Book online or call the box office on 01603 630000.