The Ladykillers at Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

Katherine Ryan

REVIEW: Katherine Ryan at the Portsmouth Guildhall

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The fantastically crooked set, with its cleverly designed split-levels, corridors and cupboards, hints at the farcically crooked world we are about to enter in Graham Linehan’s reworking of the iconic The Ladykillers.

Mrs Wilberforce has a room to let. She is soon descended upon by five musicians who must rehearse undisturbed in the room upstairs, but in actual fact, the group of men are plotting to carry out a violent robbery.

Professor Marcus is a clever, manipulative man played with great aplomb by Paul Brown, who leads this scheming and hapless quintet of robbers.

Following him into seemingly inevitable incarceration are the nervy yet confident ‘confidence’ man Major Courtney; the angry, Romanian thug Louis Harvey; dimwit and former boxer One Round and lively cockney Harry Robinson, played by William Troughton, whose physical comedic ability is flawless.

Michele Dotrice’s Mrs Wilberforce is both charming and endearing as she learns the truth about these musicians.

With some great moments aided by special effects and big, broad comedy set pieces this was a fun, farcical frolic of a production. This is a show to catch while its still here, if you can.

Until Saturday.