News Article

30th Apr 2019

The Ladykillers in rehearsals – coming soon to Theatre by the Lake

Theatre by the Lake's first production of the Summer Season is the stage adaptation of much-loved film The Ladykillers. Currently in rehearsals, it opens in the theatre's Main House on 24 May.

The play is by Graham Linehan, best known as the writer of Father Ted, Black Books and The IT Crowd. The original Ealing Studio film was released in 1955 and starred Alec Guinness, Peter Sellers and Jack Warner. William Rose wrote the screenplay, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award, and won the BAFTA Award for Best British Screenplay; Rose claimed to have dreamt the entire film and merely had to remember the details when he awoke. Still hugely popular today, The British Film Institute ranked The Ladykillers the 13th greatest British film of all time.

Linehan's stage adaptation premièred at the Liverpool Playhouse in 2011 before transferring to the West End to great critical acclaim, and was followed by a UK-wide tour; The Times described the play as ‘no pale stage rip-off but a new-written piece of perfection'.

Theatre by the Lake's production is directed by Chris Honer, who directed recent Christmas production Beauty & the Beast, and features a cast of seven: Patrick Driver (Major Courtney), Dominic Gately (Professor Marcus), Devesh Kishore (Louis Harvey), Rachel Laurence (Mrs Wilberforce), Luke Murphy (Harry Robinson), Chris Porter (Constable Macdonald) and Eric Potts (One Round). The play also features a large community cast of women who play the roles of Mrs Wilberforce's friends: TBTL did a call out for enthusiastic amateur actors to join the community cast and had a wonderful response, with 24people signing up, who will take it in turns to join the professional company on stage during the show's run.

Director Chris Honer said: "A magical mix of ingenious skulduggery and slapstick farce, this play honours the original classic film, while bringing a whole new hilarious dimension. It's great entertainment for the whole family. We're having a wonderful time in rehearsals, and I'm lucky to be working with a cast who are endlessly energetic and fabulously funny. I was also thrilled at the response we had to our call out for community cast members to play the friends of Mrs Wilberforce. Our community cast are brilliant, and we couldn't do this production without them; we hope they're enjoying the experience (but from the fun we're having in rehearsals, I'm pretty sure they are).”

The cast will also be performing in The Rise and Fall of Little Voice(from 6 June),The Children(from 6 June),Dear Uncle(from 1 August) and Guards at the Taj(from 8 August), with the plays running in rep (along with My Mother Said I Never Should) until the end of the season.

The Ladykillers plays in Theatre by the Lake's Main House from 24 May to 30 October. Tickets are from £10; for more information and to book tickets visit or call the box office on 017687 74411.
For more information or images please contact Meg Eyre on 017687 81107 or by email at

Press Archive »