Review: The Ladykillers at The Kings Theatre, Southsea

Ccads production of The Ladykillers

Ccads production of The Ladykillers

Forty Years On at Chichester Festival Theatre SUS-170217-095019001

REVIEW: Forty Years On at Chichester Festival Theatre

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Take five villainous men planning to attempt a bank robbery, shack them up in a house belonging to a plucky senior citizen and hilarity ensues, especially as the old dear thinks that they are using her spare room to hone their musical skills.

Will she discover what they are really up to and foil their dastardly schemes?

The Ladykillers is a likeable and skilfully executed madcap farce by the company of Ccads. Its fun lies not in its mechanics but in its rich characterisations, particularly in gang leader Professor Marcus, played by John–Paul McCrohon, and the sweet yet spectacularly dim oaf, Round One played by Tony Dart. Sheila Birt sparkles as the dotty Mrs Wilberforce.

The original 1955 Ealing film was largely replicated, the on stage action blending nicely with the intermittent screen projections. There was great rapport among the actors who were clearly enjoying every minute of it, which shone through in their performances.

Best gag award has to go to Peter McCrohon for his rather swift ad-lib to some lingering train smoke.

It was a cracking night – this was what theatre is all about.

Until Saturday.

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