MISCHIEF Theatre’s The Play That Goes Wrong had Lighthouse audiences helpless with laughter last year. So it is no surprise that tickets to the follow-up, The Comedy About a Bank Robbery, have become as hard to get hold of as the priceless jewel at the centre of its plot.

In Mischief’s previous productions, an amateur company attempted to mount a serious play, only for it to fall apart hilariously. That conceit is abandoned for this piece, in favour of a hectically-paced spoof of heist dramas. And while the script might not quite have the intricate cleverness of The Play That Goes Wrong, the farce is so inventive and so perfectly played that the first night audience was screeching with laughter.

The first act introduces us to the not very bright crooks who are intent on stealing the diamond, and the equally inept bank staff who stand in their way. It culminates in a brilliantly executed bedroom scene in which con artist Caprice (Julia Frith) tries to hide her would-be lover Sam (Sean Carey) from a succession of visitors, concealing him from her jailbreaking boyfriend (Liam Jeavons) and pressing him into pretending to be her bank manager father.

The second act is mostly given over to the heist, and contains an audaciously-staged, gravity-defying set piece which is unlike anything you will have seen on stage, before the action moves on to the raid, complete with a Mission: Impossible-style display of abseiling.

It is a show in which everything depends on the cast displaying perfect timing, endless energy and incredible physical dexterity, and the company delivers all of those. The production is such a great ensemble effort that it seems unfair to single anyone out – but it is worth mentioning that George Hannigan as ‘Everyone Else’ and Julia Frith, shining in the pivotal role of Caprice, are making terrific professional debuts in this most gruelling of shows. The enthusiastic applause from the first night audience showed that this heist had paid off.