The Ladykillers was a 1955 black comedy produced by the legendary Ealing Studios, starring Alec Guinness, Peter Sellers, Jack Warner and Herbert Lom. It remains much loved.
It is about a sweet little old lady, alone in her house, pitting her wits against a gang of criminal misfits who will stop at nothing in their pursuit of loot. Drop the sweet little old lady in favour of a precocious real-life Bart Simpson and you've got yourself Home Alone (I'm looking at you, the late John Hughes). Almost.
So if you're going to do a new adaptation (sans Macaulay Culkin) for the stage, you better take great care. You'll need a brilliant comic writer with a light touch and a talented director. And what about the cast? Well, you're never going to beat Sellers and Guinness, so good luck with that.
Thankfully, The Ladykillers has been adapted by Graham Linehan (of Father Ted fame) and is directed by Sean Foley, the writer of Morecambe & Wise love letter, 'The Play What I Wrote'. The cast is also pretty impressive. BAFTA winner Peter Capaldi takes a break from playing the acidic Malcolm Tucker in 'The Thick of It' to take on the role of Professor Marcus, alongside James Fleet, Ben Miller and Olivier Award winner Clive Rowe, with Marcia Warren as the old lady, Mrs Wilberforce
Posing as amateur musicians, Professor Marcus and his gang rent rooms in Mrs Wilberforce's lopsided house, plotting to involve her, unwittingly, in Marcus' brilliantly conceived heist job. After the old lady becomes wise to their scheming, Marcus concludes there is only one way to keep her quiet...
The Ladykillers runs from Saturday 26th November 2011 at London's Gielgud Theatre, currently booking until Saturday 18th Feb 2012. Tickets are available now, priced from £35 (concessions from £12.50).