Thursday, January 05, 2012

'The Ladykillers' by Graham Linehan

5 January 2012

Between Christmas and New Year we were at the Gielgud Theatre in London’s West End to see ‘The Ladykillers’ – a new stage version of the classic Ealing comedy, written by Graham Linehan and directed by Sean Foley. It was an all-star cast with Peter Capaldi, James Fleet, Ben Miller, Clive Rowe, Stephen Wight and the wonderful Marcia Warren as Mrs Wilberforce. But the clear star of the show was the amazing set by Michael Taylor. The whole inside of the house is laid out in exaggerated and eccentric angles and perspective – which reminded me of the Stephen Daldry version of ‘An Inspector Calls’ – and this is combined with a revolving stage to take us outside and show us the heist with a series of toy cars and a toy train. Graham Linehan says in the programme that he was influenced by Patrick Barlow’s stage adaptation of ‘The Thirty Nine Steps’ and this was certainly in a very similar style. There were some very funny moments – I loved the tableau of the six faces of the criminal gang crammed into a tiny cupboard – and it was a very enjoyable evening in the theatre but the performances were good rather than outstanding.

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