Similarly to the film, the stage adaptation tells the tale of a grizzly group of thieves, including the dapper Professor Marcus, who take up residency with the doddery Mrs. Wilberforce. Together, the criminals craft a dastardly plan to carry out a train heist near her home. Unbeknownst to the gangsters, Mrs. Wilberforce likes to report strange goings-on to the police, particularly those happening in her own neighbourhood. Posing as a string quintet, the thieves try their best not to reveal their true identity to the old lady, however when they inevitably slip up, they plot an elaborate plan to bump her off. Will Mrs. Wilberforce live to tell the tale to her band of grey-haired cronies?
The Ladykillers is adapted for the stage by comic master Graham Linehan (Black Books, Father Ted) and is directed by the Olivier Award-winning Sean Foley (The Play What I Wrote). The production also features sound design by Ben and Max Ringham and costume by James Farncombe. One of the most celebrated features of the onstage adaptation is Michael Taylor’s innovative set and lighting design, which sees the whole set skewed on various jaunty angles. This creative set gives the audience a few visual surprises throughout the production!
Casting includes Marcia Warren (Jam & Jerusalem, Life of Riley) as the sweet old Mrs. Wilberforce and Peter Capaldi (The Thick of It) as the cunning Professor Marcus, alongside James Fleet (The Vicar of Dibley), Clive Rowe (Guys and Dolls, Into the Woods), Ben Miller (The Armstrong and Miller Show) and Stephen Wright. Linehan and Foley’s The Ladykillers promises to be the perfect revamp of a classic film.