Wilma’s Rating ****
Having never seen The Ladykillers during its successful 2011 run, I was keen to go along and see what it was all about now that it is back in the West End at the Vaudeville Theatre.
The show starts with dear old Mrs Wilberforce who has reported the local newsagent to the police on suspicion of him being a Nazi because he insisted she tell him her address. It turns out she forgot she was trying to place an advert in the shop window to let out her spare bedroom (and obviously her address was required).
A lovely man, Professor Marcus, comes and takes the room on the understanding that he and his musician friends are able to also rehearse for an upcoming concert there. The concert is a guise for a bank robbery that is plotted and executed, somehow managing to involve Mrs Wilberforce.
There is a hilarious Fawlty Towers esq debate about what time tea time is, where Mrs Wilberforce declares it is 3pm and not 5pm (because she is old and gets up at 4.30am). In the second half, as you would expect, everything falls apart and one by one people start to die in a hilarious manner. The shows end is clever and makes you kick yourself for not clocking on to what was going to happen earlier.
The acting cant be faulted. Every character has been perfectly cast to show how different these men are but have all come together in the name of crime.
The set is cleverly designed to rotate from the outside of the house to the inside where everything is lop sided because of the war. Pictures, plates and tables all fall when a train goes past the outside of the house.
Ladykillers is funny and very cleverly put together but I couldn’t help but think the humour was at times a little wonky. Maybe it was just the wonky set that made the humour skewed!
Major Courtney – SIMON DAY
Harry – RALF LITTLE
One Round – CHRIS MCCALPHY
Louis – CON O’NEILL
Professor Marcus – JOHN GORDON SINCLAIR
Mrs Wilberforce – ANGELA THORNE
Constable Macdonald – BLAIR PLANT
Mrs Tromleyton – CAROLE DANCE