TITLE: The Ladykillers
PLAYWRIGHT: Graham Linehan
PERFORMANCE DATES: 16th - 18th May 2019
DIRECTOR: Helen Lawley
CAST (in order of appearance)
Constable McDonald - Gary Bateson
Mrs Louisa Wilberforce - Lisa Valentine
Professor Marcus - Mike Waters
Major Courtney - Bob Wells
Harry Robinson - Will Bosanquet
One-Round - Alan Rome
Louis Harvey - Nick Leaf
Mrs Jane Tromleyton - Sadie Ashton
Mrs Wilberforce’s Guests:
Linda Baillie, Alma Belbin, Lynne Edwards, Elaine Wells
Click HERE for production programme
The Ladykillers is a classic black comedy; a sweet little old lady, alone in her house, is pitted against a gang of criminal misfits who will stop at nothing.
Posing as amateur musicians, Professor Marcus and his gang rent rooms in the lopsided house of sweet but strict Mrs Wilberforce. The villains plot to involve her, unwittingly, in Marcus' brilliantly conceived heist job. The police are left stumped but Mrs Wilberforce becomes wise to their ruse and Marcus concludes that there is only one way to keep the old lady quiet. With only her parrot, General Gordon, to help her, Mrs Wilberforce is alone with five desperate men. But who will be forced to face the music?
CHAIR’S PRODUCTION NOTES
The Monday Players like to have several ‘possible’ plays in the pipeline - not only to check performing rights, but to also ascertain our members’ availability and suss out (or if required, coerce without violence) a willing director to come on board and drive the production forward.
A couple of years ago, one of our members, Astrid, suggested Steel Magnolias.
This went down a treat at a play reading evening and is now confirmed as our May 2020 production, and with Astrid at the helm. However, as this will be an all-female ensemble, we agreed to balance Steel Magnolias with a play which would offer our fine male actors rich pickings with a suitably male heavy play.
Helen, our director for this production, suggested The Ladykillers early last year ... and she was keen to direct - result! Helen had previously seen differing productions of The Ladykillers, and so armed with creative vision and contacts ‘in the know’, she has been very much in the driving seat from start to finish. Helen has been very energetic and enthusiastic throughout and I know she has very much enjoyed her time directing and producing for the society; I’ve a feeling she may have another bash at this directing lark for us!
I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome our newest member, Will Bosanquet.
And finally...thank you to our audience and sponsors for your continued support and patronage. It is, as always, greatly appreciated. If you are interested in joining The Monday Players, on or off stage, or both, please get in touch and come along to a play read or rehearsal. You will be very much welcomed.
I hope you enjoy our play.
FROM THE DIRECTOR'S CHAIR
What are your childhood memories of black and white telly repeats at the weekend? Mine include White Horses, Casey Jones and - of course, the Ealing comedies. The Ladykillers has particularly endured with its tale of a criminal gang who try to do in a sweet old lady and get their just desserts.
In my opinion, the wonderful Graham Linehan has fully realised the comic potential of this plot in his stage version, creating deliciously well fleshed characters and situations that my lovely actors have really got their teeth into. He wrote for the West End featuring an intricate revolving stage: we needed our thinking caps to adapt that to a village hall situation and budget! Thanks to Phil Drinkwater, Kinver Players and Neil Mather, Rotherham Phoenix Players who were kind and eager to share their experiences of directing this play with me – and some of their trade secrets!
Boccherini's Minuet features significantly in the film and I wanted to vein this through the play to reflect the characters' experiences in the show. Hurrah to YouTube - and thanks to Carole Readman, MD of Weighton Waytes who arranged some of the versions you will hear tonight. By the way, other music tracks featuring in the show were all 1956 hits, the year in which this play is set – remember them?
Given the technical complexity of this play, the cast have energetically rehearsed since February and the production team have resourcefully and good naturedly solved problems arising. It's through the talent, ingenuity and sheer bloody hard work of a fab group of people that this show is happening tonight. What a great bunch of people the Monday Players are. They have embraced the production, on stage and off and made it their own.
So, sit back and I hope you are thoroughly entertained by our Escrick version of The Ladykillers...
Photos taken by Nancy Waters