London, West End Shows

The Comedy About a Bank Robbery on the West End Stage

Go to a comedy they said. It will be funny they said. London Box Office ranks the production 4.7 out of 5. What could possibly go wrong?

Written by Henry Shields, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Lewis, The Comedy About a Bank Robbery is shown at the Criterion Theatre on London’s West End. Starring the same theatre company behind The Play That Goes Wrong, the slapstick show is the story of six guys trying to rob a huge diamond from a bank in Minnesota, USA.

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Branded the ‘funniest show in town‘ and a ‘spectacular night of madness‘ by various newspapers and theatre critics, I was optimistic about seeing a comedy show on the stage, excited for it being a change to the typical production I see. In the middle of the front row of the circle, we were poised and ready for the show.

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Over the years I have witnessed some pretty questionable shows on tour, on the West End and in amateur productions, but until I saw this one I had never been unable to sit through the remaining half of the show and took it upon myself to leave at the interval.

It just was not funny. As I have mentioned before in my review of Waitress, humour that involves exaggerated body movements that exceed boundaries of normal, physical comedy has never really appealed to me. Unlike at Waitress, for this play I had no anecdotes from personal friends telling how fantastic it was and attended the show with no real expectations, other than being entertained by the comedic element, after all it did have the word ‘comedy’ in its title.

Their slogan for the show is that “it would be criminal to miss it”, but in my honest opinion, it would be more of a crime to waste money on this evening of unfulfilled entertainment. 

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Whilst it distinctly was not my type of show, I must give credit to the performers on the stage. Everything they delivered was aptly over the top and apparently comical in its appeal, as the rest of the auditorium seemed to be really enjoying the show, bellowing with laughter every couple of seconds at one thing or another. I need to highlight the fact I am by no means panning the show or saying that it was not well written or put together, which is how I felt when I went to Waitress, I am simply stating that the show did not appeal to me personally.

Unfortunately for me, slapstick comedy just does not cut it. The repetitious nature of puns and explanation of gags from one dopey character to another really frustrated me and is one of the main reasons I also tend to avoid pantomimes.

I am happy that I have seen another show on the stage and I continue to learn what I like and what I don’t, but this one is definitely not something I would personally recommend. I have come to the realisation that I tend to find things branded ‘dark’ or ‘witty’ more humorous than shows described as ‘comedic’, ‘mad’ or ‘hilarious’.

Maybe this show would appeal to you more? Is this a show you would like to see? If anyone has seen it and knows if they make away with the jewel, do let me know in the comments below.

36 thoughts on “The Comedy About a Bank Robbery on the West End Stage”

  1. I am of the opinion that if something is noted as ” hilarious” it is immediately a red flag. That’s a very objective thing…..my humour may not match yours and being told it’s funny is off putting.
    I think you did the right thing leaving…It sounded dire…
    🦌🦌🦌🦌🦌

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am of that same opinion now! I like to try things though – I mean people slam the Cats movie and it wasn’t as bad we anticipated it to be! This was completely not funny and I don’t think it is the type of thing you would enjoy, although many others might love it ♥

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  2. We sound alike. I don’t do well with over the top comedy either and like more subtle attempts at humor. I like that you made the distinction between the acting and writing and then the content and its appeal for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right?! I mean humour is something deeply personal and this just wasn’t my thing. The show seemed very popular and pleasing to people around me just not my thing! It’s important i think to make that distribution when it comes to things like this – just because the acting or the writing is bad, doesn’t mean the other needs to be as well. Thank you for reading my post ♥️

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    1. Thank you so much – I’m glad you understand! The last thing I wanted to do was slander anyone part of the show – but at the same time, it is important to be honest in my review ♥ Hopefully I will get back to the theatre soon and see something I prefer 🙂 x

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  3. It is always good to branch out and try new things but I’m with you. Over the top , slapstick humor isn’t my cup of tea. My husband on the other hand would love something like that. It is simply a difference of opinion and personality. Great post. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. It is super hard when it comes to comedy – it is deeply personal, like finding the right perfume! What one person may think is wonderful just might not float the boat of the next person. This is obviously a very popular show, and I don’t want to ‘slam’ it – it just wasn’t my thing! Thank you for reading my post! ♥ x

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  4. What a shame! Sorry it was a flop for you although a very good review for anyone thinking of going.

    We are off to the play that goes wrong next month with the kids, in already convinced they will love it but I’m not sure it’ll be my thing x

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    1. Thank you ♥ I wanted to keep it fair – even though it wasn’t my cup of tea, it’s important to note than I’m not ‘slamming’ the show or the people in it – it was purely down to personal preference of humor. I am curious to see if you will like the Play That Goes Wrong – I think it will be of similar nature to The Bank Robbery so I wouldn’t have it on my list! You must let me know! x

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  5. That’s a shame you didn’t enjoy the show, I have been to a couple of shows where I felt a bit like that and didn’t enjoy them (lucky they were free tickets) but it’s such a shame! Thank you for sharing your honest review x

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    1. It is important to be honest when it comes to these things – people often spend a lot of money on tickets to these shows! I’m glad I didn’t spend much on these tickets or I would have been quite angry for sure. It’s so deflating for a show to just not have the same impact on you as everyone else around is howling laughing and you’re sitting like 😐 x

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    1. Thank you – I am glad you appreciate my post. I am in no way slamming the actors or the production in general, but it was just not my ‘thing’ 🙂 Thank you for reading ♥ x

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    1. Thank you for reading – I am glad you found my review helpful 🙂 Don’t get me wrong, it would be a great show if you did enjoy slapstick, but definitely not a recommendation if you are not a fan! ♥ x

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    1. Not your cup of tea eh? 😂 Yeah it really wasn’t mine either. No hate to the actors or the writing of course! It’s interesting what people find hilarious and how others (us) can be sitting there like 🤨

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  6. I’m always so sceptical about comedy shows anyway as I have quite a particular sense of humour, things like this I just don’t tend to find funny at all. It’s a shame you were so disappointed but I completely get why, from what I can gather I wouldn’t have liked it either. I love that you still respect the show for what it is though, it seems that the actors did well in their own right, just not to everyone’s tastes.

    Alice xx

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    1. I completely understand – I feel like I’m very similar to how you described yourself! Thank you so much – I’m glad that it came across in my post; the last thing I wanted to do was ‘slam’ the actors or the writing. Many people would (and do) love the show, it was simply not my cup of tea. Thank you for reading ♥

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    1. The theatre was definitely so lovely – almost sweet in how cute it was and different from many of the others in London. I’m sorry that you have experienced that disappointment before – it’s not great, especially when you pay so much for the tickets! I completely agree though, if you are not enjoying it, it is better to leave than, for example, disrupt others! x

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    1. It wasn’t as we expected – it was much worse and not funny for us. At least with a movie, it’s different to a live performance where the actors are present in front of you! X

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  7. Can’t say I’ve heard of this show, such a shame you didn’t enjoy it though :(. I’ve definitely been in that position where I’ve been tempted to walk out on a ‘comedy’ act though.

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