THE LADYKILLERS began life as an Ealing comedy written by William Rose and directed by Alexander Mackendrick in 1955, and was adapted for the stage in 2011 by Graham Linehan, well known for Father Ted, Black Books and the IT Crowd.
When the kind hearted Mrs Wilberforce rents a room to the charming Professor Marcus she is overjoyed to hear music from her house. The Professor says its a perfect room to rehearse with his string quartet! Surely it’s a coincidence a security van route passes nearby? When large bundles of cash turn up the musical ruse is rumbled and the gang is exposed! What will happen to the sweet old widow when she confronts this bizarre group of crooks?
My favourite scene from this tall tale, this yarn has to be the scene just prior to interval when the band of crims, masquerading as musicians, have to perform in front of house guests and produce the most cacophonous sounds. Everyone says how much they liked the performance but Mrs Wilberforce will have none of it and says it was terrible.
Pamela Whalan gives a very credible performance as the loquacious, ‘old dear’ Mrs Wilberforce. She is so busy telling Constable MacDonald about her theories on crime schemes within the neighbourhood that when something real happens the Constable doesn’t believe her.
Rod Stewart plays the erstwhile Constable MacDonald who is very patient with Mrs Wilberforce.
Marty O’Neill is well cast and gives a very fine performance as Professor Marcus, the leader of the criminal troupe and their civilised face. The troupe are out to do a heist of a security van outside the local Kings Cross railway station.
Stephen Doric played the cross dressing con man Major Courtney.
Doug Wiseman was a lot of fun as the obsessive compulsive Harry Robinson.
Paul Rye played the not very bright ex pugilist suitably names One Round.
Barry Nielsen played the very unhumorous Romanian psychopath Louis Harvey.
Susan Carveth had a cameo role as one of the house guests.
A veteran costume designer for the Genesian’s, Carveth’s costumes for this production were, as always, very good and appropriate.
Grant Fraser’s set with its cracked walls, mimicked the cracked facades of the play’s characters.
This was a fun night at the theatre, one where the performers on stage seemed to be having as much fun as the audience.
This was the Sydney premiere production of this Linehan play. THE LADYKILLERS is playing the Genesian Theatre, 420 Kent Street, Sydney until the 15th February, 2020