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September 12, 2017 / basabbott

Murder & Mayhem

Review

The Ladykillers
New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich

The last of the Ealing comedies was probably the blackest.
Graham Linehan’s adaptation combines the homely mayhem of a Ben Travers farce with the body count of a Jacobean revenge play.
A remarkable set, by Richard Foxton, swivels from an old train station into both storeys of Miss Wilberforce’s house.
In the role of that old lady Ann Penfold gives what you might call a tour de Miss Wilberforce performance.
The gallery of rogues are as colourful as in the 1955 film. When they rehearse their heist you can see a line of English comedy from the Rude Mechanicals.
Steven Elliott takes the Professor role, the one Alec Guinness toothily based on Alastair Sim. The character is now younger, bespectacled, very Oxbridge, with a ground-length scarf and bursting with criminal energy.
He and his motley gang, the helmeted bobby, milk on the doorstep and Suez on the wireless, bring back the world of 60 years ago.
Peter Rowe directs the play which runs until Saturday 30 September.

Basil Abbott

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