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Posts Tagged ‘Jeremy Lloyd’

Mischief Theatre continue their campaign for world domination of the genre of farce with this new comedy. I’m pleased they’ve decided to move on from the ‘goes wrong’ plays and I’m even more pleased at how successful this is. 

It’s set in Minneapolis in the late 50’s (I smell a Broadway transfer!). From a prison break-out through the planning of the robbery to its execution, it’s uproariously funny full-on farce. The eight founders / regulars have been supplemented by just one newbie and the experience and chemistry they have developed over the years shows. It’s even more physical and has even more stunts than previous shows. The addition of music contemporary to the setting, sung a cappella during scene changes (and occasionally within a scene) is a lovely bonus, and they sing well too. A joke on the elevation of an issue to higher levels is used twice to brilliant effect, as are those ‘circular’ jokes based on multiple mishearing’s and misunderstandings. 

They’ve raised their game in production values again. David Farley’s set makes great use of the relatively small Criterion stage with action above and around – and on the back wall! – and there are good period costumes by Roberto Surace. If George Martin was the fifth Beatle, then director Mark Bell must be the ninth member of Mischief, because his high energy, fast paced staging is crucial to the slickness of the show.

Though it’s still in preview it’s already in great shape and I predict another huge hit. What Mischief do so well is entertain everyone and offend no-one. You only had to look at the audience to realise they are from eight to eighty, Londoners and visitors from all over the place. The Mischief fairy-tale of success continues……

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