"the gross and scope of my opinion ..." Hamlet I,1.
Thursday, March 26, 2015
at The Tractor Shed
LADS opened their Ealing comedy, there were Ladykillers on the box,
too. Turned out to be female pest control experts …
fans of the 50s film will know, the vermin here are a pseudo string
quartet who plan a heist from a room rented to them by an innocent
little old lady.
and directed by Carole Hart, boasts a splendid set, with chez
Wilberforce spaciously suggested, and a spare room – a little
cramped, even for chamber music – which revolves impressively to
reveal the roof outside the window.
ingenious version by Graham Linehan [a recent success in the West End] is packed with gags, often
physical, and a colourful cast of characters. There's steam from the passing
trains, a lethally long scarf, the criminals tumbling from the
brains behind the gang, “Professor” Marcus – the Alec Guinness
role – is played with fine comic style by Daniel Tonbridge. His
motley crew are Robin Warnes as geriatric cross-dresser and con-man
Major Courtney, Keith Spencer unfailingly amusing as the slow-witted
ex-boxer Mr Lawson - his
demise particularly impressive,
Alan Elkins as the vicious Louie, and Adam Hart excellent as the
Wilberforce, landlady to the mob and police time-waster, is played by
Joan Cooper, convincingly clueless, in a wig that is terrible even by
fun could have been a little faster, with a touch more confidence in
some performances, but nonetheless a laudable attempt at a
challenging theatrical style. It's all “rather fantastical” [as
David Hudson's weary copper has it] but most enjoyable – an
affectionate tribute to a much-loved movie.