The Bank Job

What are the ingredients for a bank robbery comedy? A ragtag criminal gang, a double serving of double-crossing, a training montage, and many pairs of dark sunglasses. The Bank Job has it all. Airebourne Theatre even add a superspy parody into the mix.

Oceans 11 meets James Bond meets Robin Hood

A team comes together to steal an indeterminate (but certainly copious) amount of gold. They plan the heist, they prepare for the heist, they heist. Complications come in the form of love-triangles and ineptitude. Comedy comes in the form of toying with your expectations. If you’ve ever seen a movie in which an infiltrator crawls through a conveniently large vent, then you’ll enjoy a recreation of that trope with a child’s play tunnel standing in for the vent. Plus, the prize isn’t the only gold involved. As it turns out, our heroes also have hearts of gold. They’re stealing to fund a foodbank. This isn’t just Oceans 11 meets James Bond; its Oceans 11 meets James Bond meets Robin Hood.

But you won't need me to tell you the plot. Narration is provided throughout by an inventively sardonic voiceover (Matthew Morton), who begins by introducing the key players. Morgan King stands out among them from the moment he forward-rolls through his opening scene. The six-strong cast match each other’s high energy and adeptly manage to portray distinctive characters, in spite of their fairly homogeneous costumes.

The best farces tend to begin with chuckles, and build to side splitting hilarity towards the end. Unfortunately, The Bank Job never quite gets there. A few punchlines, metatheatrical asides and popculture references win laughs from the audience, but that’s about as successful as the humour gets. The aforementioned vent is probably the comedic highlight. The characters don’t have enough chemistry or development to encourage investment in their relationships, and the plot is resolved so quickly and easily that it verges on anticlimactic.

At the end of the performance, the audience is asked for donations to The Trussel Trust, a charity which aims to alleviate hunger in the UK. Like their well-meaning protagonists, Aireborne Theatre’s heart is undeniably in the right place, whether or not every element of their production succeeds.

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Reviews by Monica Yell



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Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
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Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
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The Blurb

The motive: gold. The target: the Bank of England. The mission: to pull off the ultimate heist. The show: James Bond meets Oceans 11 gone bankrupt in this farcical comedy that is Mission Imposs- ...wait, that's not right. The farcical comedy that is The Bank Job… Yeah… That’s right… You can edit that bit out right? (Epic heist music plays in the background).

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