Alnwick Theater Club perform ‘joyful’ production of classic play The Ladykillers

This updated game version written by Graham Linehan tells the story of an elderly widow, Mrs. Wilberforce living in an eccentric house in Kings Cross who unwittingly gives up a room to a gang of hapless criminals posing as a musical ensemble with a fondness for Boccherini.

They spend their time planning a heist, in which Mrs. Wilberforce is innocently mixed up. When she finds out what is really going on, the gang plans to “ship” her with comical but disastrous results for the criminals.

It’s a risk to stage a production of a much-loved film, but overall the Alnwick Drama Club manages to pull it off, with comedic highs peppered throughout the play.

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Alnwick Theater Club performing The Ladykillers.

The set was created in a thoughtful and playful way; a quirky, cobbled house over two floors with the upstairs bedroom overlooking the Kings Cross tunnels.

Inside, the house contained suitably old-fashioned pictures (comically tilted at odd angles), comfortable armchairs, built-in cupboards, and beautiful china teacups.

He skillfully took the audience and characters from the living room to the bedroom and onto the train tracks below.

It’s the source of much fun in the show, to bring laughs from the start and throughout to applause from stage manager, Virginia Mayes Wright, and the stage crew, for creating such an ingenious playground. on which the actors can act.

Some of the Alnwick Theater Club cast members.

This was only bettered by the lighting and sound of Andy Hunt, Andrew Mounsey and Gary Brown. It’s by no means an easy job, coordinating the sound of trains with the disappearance of criminals, but they’ve generally done it with great success.

Hilary Waugh and Karina Biggers’ prowess in the costume department has resulted in a collection of highly accomplished outfits that brilliantly define each character.

Honorable mention goes to the scarf Professor Marcus (Mark Stenton) wore which was so long it trailed on the floor – providing comic entertainment when Mrs. Wilberforce repeatedly stepped on it.

The unkempt and scruffy One Round (Matthew Winter) looked perfect in his untucked shirt, poorly buttoned cardigan and ill-fitting jacket – contrasting nicely with the smartly dressed Harry Robinson (Nick Biggers) and Louis Harvey (Matt Bush).

Major Courtney’s yellow waistcoat was another standout, along with the 1950s dresses the Teaparty Ladies wore for the quintet’s unforgettable performance.

Casting and directing by Peter Biggers and Glenda Fricke were flawless. Between them, they cast a superb cast of well-balanced characters with excellent, well-executed comedic timing.

Mrs. Wilberforce, played by Sheila Graham, gave a measured performance of a lonely widow with only an unseen, sick parrot (skillfully voiced by Cath Hughes) and her memories for company.

Mark Stenton turns the Professor into a somewhat deluded Moriarty who believes he’s a criminal genius, but hilariously can’t get a cello case out of a window and comes to an awkward end.

Stuart Archer is also very funny as the major, quivering with delight at the sight of Mrs. Wiberforce’s purple dress, with which he dances animatedly.

There are also spirited contributions from Matt Bush as the confused felon who announces “old ladies give me penises” and Nick Biggers who gave a confident performance as Harry Robinson with a deep, raspy voice that caused a stir. cascades of laughter.

Matthew Winter’s portrayal of One Round was particularly remarkable, oscillating between awkward and impulsive while showing great tenderness towards Mrs. Wilberforce.

It was also great to see some new faces on stage – Adam Bell made his debut as Constable Macdonald, making the perfect distinction between friendliness and exasperation at Ms Wilberforce’s frequent reports of events she thinks are happening. he should be interested. He delivered his lines with real panache and provided plenty of comedic moments, especially when carrying the suitcase of cash to Mrs. Wilberforce’s dilapidated house.

If you’re expecting to see a line from the movie, then this production of The Ladykillers might not be for you. But what he does have are bags of personality and wacky goofy humor. The originality of the staging and the talented cast make for an evening of hilarity – the audience is left helpless as the laughter bursts forth and multiplies (especially in the second half of the play).

It’s a joyful night at the theater, a night that really feels necessary after all the heaviness of the past two years.