STAGE: The Ladykillers @ The People’s Theatre | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Ready for a bit of black comedy to bring laughs and darkness into your summer evenings? Then get along to the People’s Theatre and lose yourself in the macabre world of 1950s London, as you enter the home of Mrs Louisa Wilberforce and encounter her parrot, General Gordon, and her enigmatic houseguests.

This stage version of the classic Ealing comedy The Ladykillers is by Graham Linehan, Irish television comedy writer most noted for the sitcoms Father Ted and The IT Crowd. Adapted for the West End stage, Linehan takes the original plot and makes it his own. When asked, how does one adapt a classic film like The Ladykillers for the stage? In 2011, Linehan quipped: “First, blow the whole thing up.” This reflects utterly within his production.

Elderly, widowed Mrs Wilberforce, this innocent little old lady in her genteel Victorian house, is still as imaginative and invincible as ever. Her oddball guests are more sinister than they first appear, and there will be five deaths- that’s non-negotiable. Accused of sacrilege for reworking a classic film as esteemed as ‘The Ladykillers’, Linehan believes that he’s retained the essence of the legendary classic.

“I believe the film is still there – both in the sense that its spirit haunts our version, and in the fact that, regardless of this or any future reworking, their original will forever rank as one of Britain’s great cinematic achievements.”
If you don’t believe him, go and see the play for yourself and make up your own mind.

Ladykillers is at Newcastle’s People’s Theatre from Tuesday 18th until Saturday 22nd July.

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