Thursday, 24 January 2013

The Ladykillers

It's undeniable. Most of the audience is aged over 60. I feel sad about that. Not at any age over 60 - the benefit of that means you can notch up a few wisdoms and experiences - but at how few audience members comprising this particular theatre-going evening are aged under 60.

Shark, Squirrel and Tiger are the odd ones. They're being introduced to new-hope post-war Britain to see The Ladykillers, the stage production of the film which most of the audience saw the first time round. I bet their feet didn't touch the floor as they sat in their cinema seats.

This is the stage version of the film, created by Graham Lineman and Sean Foley, and thoroughly entertainingly updated it is. Bonus scenes and a don't-take-it-too-seriously car chase up a scenery flat are played out on an impressively lob-sided set.

Banging the waterpipes joke is retained, and General Gordon is there by dint of your imagination, but there's no horse and no Frankie Howerd barrow boy. Instead, you can enjoy a modern music piece and wonderful background stories to help the character development. No, I couldn't tell you who does what and why, it would spoil the emergence of those needs and quirks, so yes, watch the video of the film, assemble a group booking to lower your ticket price, and go to see the stage play in a spirit of compare and contrast.

The other clear benefit is that you can introduce the juniors to the practicalities of acculturation as age meets youth. Where we can all be reassured that what we find funny stays just the same.

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