The Ladykillers

Written by Graham Linehan
Directed by Sean Foley
Presented by Fiery Angel in asociation with Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse
Liverpool Playhouse
3rd November - 19th November 2011

Reviewed by Colin Serjent
Photograph by Manuel Harlan

I guess theatre critic Michael Billington was not in the audience to watch this very hilarious new stage interpretation of the acclaimed Ealing film comedy!

It is a fitting tribute to the 100th birthday of the Playhouse, with a top-rate cast, ingenious stage set and brilliant dialogue, including superb one-liners.

Little will be said of the plot - surely everyone has seen the screen version - except to say in parts this interpretation surpasses the film.

This is notably so when toy vehicles are pursued by miniature flashing police cars up the outside of Mrs Wilberforce's house, where the gang of five are hatching their plot to rob a train, while a little train choo choos its path over the roof in a condensed version of the heist.

Another comedic highlight is when 'a swarm of old ladies', invited by Mrs Wilberforce (Marcia Warren), enter the house to attend a concert by the so-called group of musicians, and then droll over their gawd awful music like a bunch of clucking hens.

Peter Capaldi, in the Alec Guiness role of Professor Marcus, plays the part in impressive style, hoodwinking Mrs Wilberforce, or so he seems, with his devious schemes.

One by one each member of his gang are disposed of, until Marcus ends up with his blood on the tracks, leaving Mrs Wilberforce with all the lolly!

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