(Charles Spencer’s article appeared in the Telegraph, 12/8)

I must admit I had my doubts about the wisdom of turning The Ladykillers into a stage show.

Alexander Mackendrick’s 1955 film isn’t just one of the greatest Ealing comedies, it is one of the best loved of all British pictures and surely any stage adaptation could only dilute the magic of Bill Rose’s brilliantly plotted, blackly comic script. Who could possibly equal the unforgettable performance of Alec Guinness, as a “professor” of crime who masterminds a daring robbery and uses the subsiding house of a sweet little old lady in King’s Cross as the hideout for his villainous gang, all of them implausibly impersonating the members of a classical string quintet?


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