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The Ladykillers - Gielgud Theatre

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

FOLLOWING a November run at Liverpool Playhouse, Graham Linehan’s new adaption of the celebrated Ealing comedy, The Ladykillers, will transfer to the Gielgud Theatre, where it opens on December 7, 2011 (previews from November 26).

A classic black comedy, The Ladykillers centres around a sweet little old lady who, alone in her house, is pitted against a gang of criminal misfits who will stop at nothing…

Posing as amateur musicians, Professor Marcus and his gang rent rooms in the lopsided house of the sweet but strict Mrs Wilberforce who, used as a cover by the gang, becomes involved in Marcus’ brilliantly conceived heist job.

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 W. is alone with five desperate men…

Sean Foley will direct a cast that includes BAFTA winner Peter Capaldi (The Thick of It) as Professor Marcus, James Fleet (The Vicar of Dibley), Ben Miller (The Armstrong and Miller Show), Stephen Wight, who won the Evening Standard Outstanding Newcomer Award for his performance in Don Juan in Soho (Donmar Warehouse) and Olivier Award winner Clive Rowe (Guys and Dolls, The Fantastiks).

Olivier Award-winning actress Marcia Warren will play the sweetly innocent Mrs Wilberforce.

Foley’s West End credits include Do You Come Here Often, The Play What I Wrote, Ducktastic, Pinter’s People and Joan Rivers: A Work In Progress. Later this year, he will direct Kenneth Brannagh and Rob Brydon in the Lyric Belfast’s production of The Painkiller, which he also adapted.

Linehan is an Irish television writer, actor and director who, often in partnership with Arthur Mathews, has written or co-written a number of popular television comedies, most notably Father Ted, Black Books and The IT Crowd.

The acclaimed 1955 film starred Alec Guinness (as Professor Marcus), Cecil Parker, Herbert Lom, Peter Sellers, Danny Green and Katie Johnson (as Mrs Wilberforce).

The new stage adaptation of The Ladykillers has set and costume design by Michael Taylor, lighting by James Farncombe, sound by Ben and Max Ringham and special effects by Scott Penrose.

Lend Me A Tenor continues at the Gielgud Theatre until November 19, 2011.