Gray Returns to Stage with Ladykillers TourDate: 5 March 1999
The Mercury Theatre continues its winning formula of bringing classic British films to the stage with the world premiere last night of The Ladykillers, starring Dulcie Gray. The production plays at the Mercury, in Colchester, Essex, until 27 March before embarking on an extensive national tour to 18 cities.
Based on the 1955 Ealing film comedy of the same name, The Ladykillers is the third in the Mercury's series of classic film adaptations. It follows the hit touring productions of Kind Hearts and Coronets and last year's The 39 Steps.
Professor Marcus and his gang of ruthless criminals have come up with the perfect crime. Everything has been planned with military precision. But they hadn't counted on one thing - the interference of their landlady, the dotty Mrs Wilberforce. Posing as a string quartet, they take up lodgings in her eccentric household, but very soon their secure hide-out proves to be anything but.
'Mrs Wilberforce' is played by Dulcie Gray, making her first stage appearance since the death last July of her husband Michael Denison, with whom she co-starred in more than 100 productions. The veteran screen and stage star's many credits include An Ideal Husband, Heartbreak House and Let Them Eat Cake. Gray is joined by a cast of well-known British television actors, including Tim Brook-Taylor (from The Goodies) as 'Professor Marcus' and Brian Murphy (Man About the House, George and Mildred) as 'the Major', along with Owen Aaronovich (Coronation Street), Tim Marriott (The Brittas Empire) and Martin Herdman (Soldier Soldier and Family Affairs).
The Ladykillers is adapted by Giles Croft, directed by Richard Baron and designed by Ken Harrison. After Colchester, it tours through July to Wolverhampton, Buxton, Stevenage, Guildford, Plymouth, Aberdeen, Eastbourne, Canterbury, Cheltenham, Richmond, Reading, Blackpool, Worthing, Crewe, Darlington, Southend-on-Sea and Bath.