The Ladykillers is arriving in Henley in March, courtesy of the Henley Players, who are bringing the classic Ealing comedy to life
The Ladykillers is arriving in Henley in March, courtesy of the Henley Players, who are bringing the classic Ealing comedy to life. Written for stage by the comic genius Graham Linehan of Father Ted, Black Books and The IT Crowd fame, this adaptation won best new comedy when it ran in the West End in 2011.
The original 1955 film starred Alec Guinness and Peter Sellers and remains high on the must-see comedy classics list. This stage adaptation stays close to the original and just like the black and white film, this black comedy shows a sweet little old lady pitted against a gang of criminal misfits.
Posing as musicians, Professor Marcus and his gang rent rooms in the elderly Mrs Wilberforce's house as they plot to involve her unwittingly in the professor's planned heist. But Mrs W, aided only by her moth-eaten old parrot General Gordon, has a few tricks of her own up her sleeve.
To help them capture the spirit of the piece, cast members have even taken music lessons to aid and abet them playing characters masquerading as musicians.
Director Jill Richardson couldn't resist the lure of this dark-edged comedic farce and told the Henley Standard: â??In recent years there have been some interesting examples of films being converted into plays, like The 39 Steps and Brief Encounter, and I have always loved the low-tech inventiveness required to make the transition.
â??So when I saw that The Ladykillers had been released from its very successful West End run I knew I wanted to direct it. The Henley Players have managed to gather together a stellar cast who know how to be playful; how to improvise. We are having a lot of fun with Graham Â Linehanâ??s hilarious script.â?�
Linehan has stayed faithful to Ealing films screenwriter William Roseâ??s core of the film that â??In the worst of men, there is a little bit of good that can destroy them.â?�
The West End production played to full houses, with one critic writing, â??this is no pale stage rip-off, but a new-written piece of perfectionâ?�.
The LadyKillers will be performed by The Henley Players at the Kenton Theatre from Wednesday, March 11 to Saturday, March 14 at 7.30pm, with a 2.30pm matinee on March 14. Box office 01491 575698.