First there was One Man, Two Guv'nors. Then there was the National Theatre's The Comedy Of Errors. And now, after garnering rave reviews on its opening night, The Ladykillers has joined the ranks of critically acclaimed new comedies on the West End stage.
Adapted from the classic Ealing film by Graham Linehan - and starring Peter Capaldi, James Fleet and Ben Miller - the play opened at the Gielgud Theatre this week. And it seems that any reservations about attempting a new version of such a beloved movie have been well and truly swept aside. Today's press reviews have ranged from five stars all the way down to... four:
"Graham Linehan (of Father Ted and The IT Crowd fame) defies augury with this inspired adaptation that converts the proceedings into a hilarious send-up of loony, slapstick farce... The evening abounds in terrific running gags, both visual and verbal and it keeps tipping a knowing wink at the audience... This is comic bliss with (pace the set) brass knobs on." - Paul Taylor, The Independent
"What was once macabre comedy has acquired a madcap, Marx brothers quality... This is emphatically not a replica of the movie, and one or two gags, such as a rotating blackboard that constantly flattens one of the gang, are overworked. But it is an exuberantly inventive evening, one existing in its own right at a tangent to the original..." - Michael Billington, The Guardian
"Capaldi is animatedly creepy as Marcus, and he combines enjoyably with his gang. James Fleet delights as a blundering Army major with an enthusiasm for cross-dressing... Mixing elements of farce, thriller, ghostly chiller and morality tale, Linehan's layered play seems to speak of a darkness at the very heart of British society, yet it brims with slapstick." - Henry Hitchings, Evening Standard
"I must admit I had my doubts about the wisdom of turning The Ladykillers into a stage show... Yet, amazingly, the show works and, at its considerable best, works triumphantly. Graham Linehan's new adaptation and Sean Foley's constantly inventive production are full of fresh gags and amazing physical comedy routines, while remaining true to the spirit." - Charles Spencer, Daily Telegraph
Sounds like you'd better rush and get your ticket now. You can book them online - and find out more about the show - here.