The Genesian Theatre delivers yet another delightful vintage styled comedy crime thriller. The Ladykillers was written by Irish comedian Graham Linehan who also co-created Father Ted, Black Books, and The IT Crowd. It has the same absurd, character based humour as those popular comedy series.
Five hapless criminals, led by the wily Professor Marcus (Marty O’Neill) try to pull off a bank robbery, using an innocent old lady, Mrs Wilberforce (Pamela Whalan) as an unwitting accomplice. Prof Marcus rents an upstairs room at Mrs Wilberforce’s home, then brings in his gang of criminals: young, wired Harry Robinson (Doug Wiseman); muscle-man simpleton, One-Round (Paul Rye); distinguished but closeted Major Courtney (Stephen Doric); and impatient, kill hungry Louis Harvey (Barry Neilson). The gang pretend to be a string quartet, replete with instruments. Things don’t go quite as planned, and we’re led through a series of slapstick gags and hilarious twists.
As ever, the Genesian team has gone to a lot of trouble with the set and costumes, reproducing the lounge room and upstairs bedroom of Mrs Wilberforce’s home, with period appropriate props and a wonderful backlit window that opens – as the sound effects suggest – onto a railway track below. Costumes are detailed and they even have real violins and a cello.
For an amateur theatre group, the actors are very good, with perfect sense of comic timing and great rapport with each other and the audience. A truly entertaining night out.
Until Feb 15. Genesian Theatre, 420 Kent St, Sydney, $30-$35+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.genesiantheatre.com.au
Reviewed by Rita Bratovich