The Ladykillers

Date 13th April 2019
Society Compton Players
Venue Compton Village Hall
Type of Production Play
Director Pete Watt

Report

Author: Chris Horton

THE LADYKILLERS by Graham Linehan, is set in post-war Britain and is a black comedy farce about a band of criminals masquerading as musicians, who use the lopsided house of a sweet and unsuspecting old lady (Mrs Wilberforce) as cover for the heist they are planning. When she is involved, they decide she must be eliminated and what results is an evening of joy as the group end up killing one another rather than despatching her!   

The split-level set was well designed with sliding panels to reveal the rooftop, another fold out depicting the tunnel, a cupboard to house the criminals. The gauze curtain showing the row of terraced houses was backlit when the action began, giving us the impression of looking through the window. This was a stroke of genius. 

Costumes and hair-styles were appropriate for the period and added to the nostalgic feel of the production. 

This was an ensemble piece and each cast member helped evoke a life of post-war England when the country was going through a historically fundamental revolution. The Major, a representation of military ruling class, the brutish ex-boxer representing the working class masses, Louis the foreigner.  Liz Saxton was just perfect as the deeply honest Mrs Wilberforce whose morals would not allow her to condone the dishonesty of the men, even when threatened with danger. She had fine support from Paul Shave as the mastermind “Professor” Marcus and George Buckland had great cockney charm as light-fingered Harry and his obsessive need to polish. This gentle comedy bubbled along nicely and the opening and linking music added to the period feel of the evening.  

Director Pete Watt bought us an evening of light relief and the audience went home with smiles on their faces.