Thespians aim to make a killing with classic comedy

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‘The Ladykillers’ tells the classic black comedy tale of a sweet little old lady, alone in her house, pitted against a gang of criminal misfits who will stop at nothing.

Familiar to film lovers from the 1955 movie version which starred Alec Guinness, Peter Sellers and Herbert Lom and was produced by Ealing Studios, the comedy caper was adapted successfully for the West End stage by Graham Linehan of ‘Father Ted’ fame.

Halifax Thespians have chosen ‘The Ladykillers’ for their first production of the new season. John Eastwood directs and the leads are Julie Johnston and Ged Marescaux.

In the play, Professor Marcus and his gang, posing as amateur musicians, rent rooms in the lopsided house of sweet but eccentric Mrs Wilberforce.

The villains’ plot to involve her unwittingly in the heist which has been brilliantly conceived by Prof Marcus. The police are left stumped but Mrs Wilberforce becomes wise to their ruse and Marcus concludes that there is only one way to keep the old lady quiet.

With only her parrot, General Gordon, to help her Mrs Wilberforce is alone with five desperate men. But who will be forced to face the music?

The cast also includes Roy Greenwood, Ian Slim, Martin Welsh, Kystian Wolny, Carole J Greenwood, Janet Rhodes, Margaret Robinson, Olan Birtwistle and Ros O’Connor.

The play was premiered at Liverpool Playhouse in November 2011 and transferred to the Gieldgud Theatre in London where it is reported to have captivated the West End.

When writing his adaptation, Linehan decided to emphasise the comedic element of the production and the play won an award for best new comedy.

‘The Ladykillers’ is at Halifax Playhouse from Tuesday, September 1 to Saturday, September 5 at 7.30pm with a 2.30pm matinee on Saturday, September 5. For box office information contact 01422 365998.

l The new season at the Playhouse will include ‘Lilies of the Land’, which celebrates the Land Army’s contribution during WWII, from September 29 to October 3 and Alan Ayckbourn’s ‘Life and Beth’ in December.

Stage Door Studio Theatre Workshop will present ‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe’ at the Playhouse in October and Halifax Gilbert and Sullivan Society will also present ‘Ruddigore’. The new season brochure is now available.