The Ladykillers, the critically acclaimed adaptation of the classic Ealing Comedy by renowned writer Graham Linehan, opens at the Lyric Theatre in Belfast this month.
The Ladykillers is a celebrated black comedy tale of a sweet innocent old lady, alone in her home, pitted against a gang of criminal misfits who will stop at nothing.
Living in her ramshackle Victorian house, with only her beloved parrot General Gordon for company, Mrs Wilberforce becomes unwittingly embroiled in an ingenious heist plot when she lets her spare room to the charming yet mysterious Professor Marcus and his motley gang of ‘musicians’.
She is not aware that he has assembled a gang of hardened criminals for a sophisticated security van robbery.
When she discovers what they’re really up to, the Professor decides it’s time for her to take her final bow.
The original movie, made in 1955, starred Alec Guinness, Cecil Parker, Peter Sellers and Jack Warner, and William Rose won a BAFTA for Best British Screenplay.
In 2004 the Coen Brothers directed an American remake of the film starring Tom Hanks.
Then, in 2011, the film was adapted as a play by Graham Linehan and received What’s On Stage Award for Best New Comedy.
Director of the play, the Lyric’s Executive Producer, Jimmy Fay, has given the production a new twist with an all-female cast.
The incredible ensemble includes Cheryl Fergison, Maria Connolly, Jo Donnelly, Julie Maxwell, Stella McCusker, Abigail McGibbon, Nuala McKeever and Christina Nelson.
Jimmy said: “I wanted to work with these wonderful actors as an ensemble for a long time.
“I wanted to direct Graham Linehan’s version of The Ladykillers for a long time.
“The Ladykillers script is so dynamic and funny it lends itself beautifully to this concept of an all-female cast.
“These actresses are at the top of their game and it’s a privilege to work with them on such a funny, and at the same time, quite startling play.
“ I can’t wait for the Lyric audience to experience this brilliant play with these amazing actors.”
Graham Linehan added: “As a kid I remember watching it and liking it because it had murder and people falling over, that’s everything you want to see as a young boy.
“Actually that’s everything I want to see now.”
The show runs at the Lyric Theatre from June 10 - July 8, with performances at 7.45pm, and Matinees on Saturdays and Sundays at 2.30pm.
Tickets, priced £24.50 (peak) and £15 (off peak) are on sale now.