“The Lady Killers”
Nottingham Lace Market Theatre.
Nottingham Lace Market Theatre.
The classic Ealing comedy about a group of bank robbers who hire a room at Mrs Wilberforce’s home to plot the robbery under the guise of a quintet of classical musicians. They cover up their plotting with a recording of Boccherini’s “Minuet” giving Mrs Wilberforce the idea that she has a group of talented musicians in her midst.
This also gives her an idea to utilise their skills to entertain her group of ladies for an afternoon of cultural music. There’s only one thing wrong; these musicians can’t play a note.
Throw into this mix a talking parrot and Mrs Wilberforce’s regular contacts with the local police force and this band of robbers may just have bitten off more than they can chew.
Jane Pyke (Mrs Wilberforce) who is the spitting image in this role of ex Miss Marple actress Joan Hickson, is just marvellous as Mrs W; one of the best roles I've had the pleasure of seeing her perform as.
Glenn Murphy (Copnstable MacDonald) makes for a really convincing village bobby and a nice little minor role which bookends the play.
Matthew Huntbach (Professor Marcus) plays the role on the slightly eccentric side and with great flow of character.
Jason Wrightam (One Round) has got to be one of my favourite versions of this role. I've seen theatre productions before of The Ladykillers, but Jason, for me presented me with my favourite version so far. Wonderfully simple but brilliantly fun.
John Parker (Major Courtney) is another actor I've seen in several different roles and this part of the "war veteran" with a penchant for ladies clothes is another strong character role to add to the CV. I still say that he is a distant relation of the late Leonard Rossiter.
Michael-Craig Darmola (Louis, a Romanian hoodlum) is one actor that doesn't take to the stage too often but should do more. His sometimes deadpan delivery is a lovely contrast to his aversion to old ladies. irony at its' finest, and a cracking accent also. Love the costume for Louis.
Martin Pikett (Harry) the youngest member of quintet. martin plays the wide-boy with another wonderful costume. as the play is set in 1956, Martin gets to don a teddy boy jacket and drainpipes. He has a touch of the OCD's brought on by those colourful little pills he keeps on his person.
Lorna McCullough (Mrs Tromleyton) is Mrs Wilberforce's close friend from the ladies' circle.
The music of “Coronation Scot” creates that special feel of the Ealing comedy era and of radio drama series.
The set, designed by Director Colin Treliving wasn't as lop-sided as it could may have been, or should I say, as some other productions I've seen, but that aside, the set was rather wonderful.A multi-level set with a downstairs area, upstairs room as well as a rooftop section, The set was cleverly designed to create a feeling of space as well as privacy for the robbers.
Loved the special lighting (Simon Carter) and sound effects (Matthew Allcock) complete with the smoke from the train bringing the reality feel to the production.
Wonderful costumes are what is needed for this play and that is just what we got. Expected nothing less from the Lace Market theatre and they never disappoint.
I must also mention something that, for some reason confused the people who sat directly behind me. the section where the robbery took place was all "imagined" through film effects (Emma Pegg), which was a very clever way to tell the story in a concise and interesting way. Something the folk behind me just couldn't get their heads around.
It's one of the finest classic comedies around, which is why it's being performed in 27 different areas in the UK this year alone, and the Lace Market have given me the finest of performances. No wonder it's been a sell out all week, which is brilliant to see for a local theatre. Saying that though they have an ever-growing loyal fanbase who enjoy the quality of theatre that is seen at this theatre on a regular basis.
“The Lady Killers” is at the Nottingham Lace Market Theatre until Saturday 25 February 2017