Globe Theatre, 104 London St, Dunedin

07/12/2017 - 16/12/2017

Production Details

The 1955 film, written by William Rose and which starred Alec Guinness, is fondly remembered by older cinema enthusiasts – and many younger people too.  It was a macabre comedy, one that captured the curious character of post-war Britain at that time. Its stage adaptation is still macabre but more slapstick, more bonkers than the original version – as one might expect, written as it has been by Graham Linehan, the comedic genius behind such TV programmes as The IT Crowd and, in collaboration with others, Father Ted and Black Books.

The play is still set in London, in the mid-1950s, at a time of housing shortages when many people with rooms to spare would take in lodgers. Mrs Wilberforce, an elderly widow who lives alone with just her parrot for company, is delighted to offer rooms to the apparently very respectable Professor Marcus, who requires these both for himself to stay but also as a place for his quartet of musicians to practice for an upcoming concert. Little does she know that the quartet are in fact a group of criminals and that Marcus is the mastermind behind their plan to carry out a dastardly robbery and that her house is the perfect location in which to plan and carry out this robbery.

As is so often the case, the best-laid plans do not go according to plan …

The Ladykillers
The Globe Theatre, Dunedin
Thursday 7 December until Saturday 16 December 2017 
Matinee 2pm Sunday 10 December
(No show Monday)   

Constable Macdonald:  Brook Bray 
Mrs Louise Wilberforce:  Yvonne Jessop 
Professor Marcus:  Campbell Thomson 
Major Courteney:  Sam Ogden 
Harry Robinson:  Thomas Makinson 
One-Round:  Chris Summers 
Louis Harvey:  Reuben Hilder 
Mrs Jane Tromleyton:  Beth Evans   

Stage Manager:  Anisha Hensley 
Lighting Design And Operation:  Brian Byas 
Lighting Operation:  Jamie Byas 
Set Design:  Brian Beresford 
Set Construction:  Ray Fleury 
Wardrobe:  Rachael McCann 
Rehearsal Prompt:  Beth Evans 
Front of House:  Leanne Byas  

Theatre ,

Comedy great seasonal fun

Review by Barbara Frame 11th Dec 2017

The Globe’s Christmas offering takes us back to the great British-comedy tradition – to the days of black and white film, and radio comedies in similar vein.

When a not-quite-dotty widow lets a room to a criminal gang leader masquerading as a professor and musician wanting rehearsal space – supposedly for a musical performance, but really for a heist – the stage is set for desperate deceptions, dastardly deeds and loads of slapstick. [More


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More hectic pace needed

Review by Mike Crowl 08th Dec 2017

Lineham’s play, based on the classic 1950s Ealing comedy of the same name, restricts the story to one set and adds some oddball features to the original script. The humour is on a sit-com level and requires a top notch cast to put it across so that it doesn’t appear thin.

The Globe Theatre cast do their best to bring out the script’s humour and characterisation, but the piece needs a more hectic pace; sometimes things straggle.

Yvonne Jessop, on stage for most of the show, slightly underplays Mrs Wilberforce. Instead of being a force to be reckoned with, she appears too dithery to compete with the five assorted villains. Campbell Thomson, in a role bordering on the manic, keeps things moving but, along with some other members of the cast, unnecessarily breaks the fourth wall, giving us a nudge-nudge-wink-wink approach that’s out of keeping with the style of humour.

Chris Summers is One-Round, the former boxer who’s plainly been knocked out one too many times. One-Round, aka Mr Lawson (as he keeps reminding us), gets into his stride in the second act. Before that he’s mostly given short, nonsensical lines. Summers manages the difficult task of being funny without having much to say.

Reuben Hilder as Louis Harvey, the Rumanian hitman, maintains his nastiness – and dislike of ‘old ladies’ – throughout, but tends to shout lines that would be more effective done with a quieter menace.

Tom Makinson (Harry) and Sam Ogden (Major Courteney) are the other two villains. Lineham adds quirky peculiarities to both characters: an obsession for cleaning for Harry and a desire to dress in women’s clothing for the Major. Neither seem quite convincing, nor integral to the play. Brook Bray does a good job as the patronising policeman who thinks old ladies never know what they’re talking about.

Considering the size of the Globe stage, a set that incorporates a living area, a staircase and a bedroom upstairs is quite an achievement. 


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