Breaking into its 3rd year, Mischief Theatre’s smash-and-grab hit The Comedy About A Bank Robbery is a fast, fabulous comedy caper and the funniest show in the West End.
Summer 1958. 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?
We recently touched base with Jack Whittle, who plays the part of Sam Monaghan.
Q: You recently graduated from The Guildford School of Acting. Can you share one of your highlights at the GSA?
Jack: This is a tough one because there are just so many! When I was in my final year and the curriculum had pretty much finished, I had a lot of free time on my hands. As it was ‘show season’ for the second years, I spent weeks going around different rehearsal rooms with my favourite director at the school watching him get the best out of every actor. I learnt so much over those weeks just from sitting and watching the process for a change. To be honest, the one thing I really miss now is creating something from scratch in those rehearsal rooms, I think it’s easy to take it for granted as it just becomes the norm while you’re training. I’ve been back to GSA a few times since I left and sat in a rehearsal every time, the students must think I’m crazy but I just find it inspiring and learn something without fail.
Q: What attracted you to be a part of this show?
Jack: I grew up watching Monty Python, Morecambe and Wise and comedy actors like Jim Carrey and Rik Mayall, so I think it was inevitable that I’d be drawn to Mischief’s brilliant work and try to put my own spin on their show. Plus their story as a company is incredible, taking shows from above a pub to being Olivier and Tony award winners should be an inspiration to everyone, who wouldn’t want to work with them? As soon as my audition came through I was adamant I was getting the job!
Q: You have played Sam Monaghan since December 2018 – can you tell us about the past 3 months?
Jack: Every day is just fantastic. we have a brilliant company and, I know everyone must say this but, we love working together. It’s a big commitment doing a long run, after the adrenaline rush of the opening weeks you need to retain that love for the show and the desire to share it with new people every night, but it’s easy with this brilliant script and company. There are new choices every night on stage so every show feels fresh and genuinely different to the last.
Q: You play the part of Sam Monaghan – can you tell us about Sam and how he fits into the storyline?
Jack: Sam is a pick-pocket/con-artist extraordinaire who falls head over heels for Caprice Freeboys. Unfortunately, she also happens to be a successful con-artist of Minneapolis and Sam gets roped into helping her and her estranged boyfriend Mitch Ruscitti rob a diamond from Minneapolis City Bank. As a result, the stakes are raised higher and higher and Sam ends up having to use his con-artist skills in order to save his life.
Q: What is the overriding feeling of being a part of The Comedy About a Bank Robbery?
Jack: Other than the pretty constant muscular pain of being in such a physical show, there really is just an overriding feeling of joy. The energy that the cast, crew and audience bring in each night is infectious, it’s such a pure happiness we receive from the audience that we can’t help but enjoy every second.
Q: Why should everyone get along to see the show?
Jack: There’s so much doom and gloom whenever I pick up a paper or turn on the news, not to mention everyone has their own tensions and anxieties in their every day life. I think it’s important that people have a way to escape all of that and, having been a member of the Bank Robbery audience as well as the cast, I can safely say this fast-paced, hilarious gift of a show is a way to release all of that tension and remember what it’s like to laugh until your stomach and face hurt!
The Comedy About a Bank Robbery
The Criterion Theatre