by Graham Linehan
This celebrated Ealing comedy tells the classic black comedy tale set in 1956 of a sweet innocent old lady, alone in her home, pitted against a gang of criminal misfits who will stop at nothing. Many will know the 50s film and the script has been artfully adapted for the stage by Graham Linehan (credits include Father Ted, The IT Crowd among others). It was greeted with great reviews when it first played in the West End in 2011.
Eccentric widow Louise Wilberforce lives with her chatty macaw in a house in King’s Cross. She’s known to the local police as a fantasist. But when approached by Professor Marcus, a slippery would-be lodger, she is remarkably gullible. Instead of suspecting Marcus and his four henchmen as they plot a robbery, she falls for their pretence of being musicians in rehearsal, despite their showing no trace of musical talent.
This will be, we hope, a laugh out loud comedy but with a really splendid range of character roles, it has a dark side as the play builds to its climax with Mrs Wilberforce vs the bank robbers! Departing a little from the famous film with Alec Guinness, all the gangster parts are written strongly. Important to note is that those cast should find and inhabit the role and not attempt to copy how characters were portrayed in the film.
- Mrs Louisa Wilberforce: Female, acting mid 70s to early 80s. Eccentric, but not cute. Displaying an air of innocence under a veil of firmness.
- Professor Marcus: Male 40s to 50s. Charming, but rather creepy with the air of an ‘academic’. The leader and ‘mastermind’ of the gang.
- Major Courtney: Male 40s to 50s. A retired major, or at least purports to be one. Has military bearing but doesn’t engender confidence.
- Harry Robinson: Male 20s to early 30s. A ‘spiv’ and ‘teddy boy’ of the era, nervous with some dubious habits.
- One-Round: Male 30s. Needs to portray a large muscular character, a punch drunk ex boxer. Not the sharpest knife in the drawer.
- Louis Harvey: Male 30s to early 50s. The most sinister of the gang with an air of menace and trusting no one.
- Constable Macdonald: Male late 30s to early 50s. An archetypal policeman of the time (no Line of Duty). Smaller part, but important role.
- Mrs Jane Tromleyton: Female 70s. A very small speaking part and one of the ladies attending the musical soirée that the gang are pressed into giving.
- Mrs Wilberforce’s Guests: 5 Females who attend the musical soirée hosted by Mrs Wilberforce who have non-scripted parts, but make plenty of noise!
Notes About the Auditions
Scripts will be shortly available by the box office with a signing in and out list.
Please note: the ages above refer to the ages to be portrayed and are a guide. Please consider choosing a passage from the play to read and act at the audition.
Rehearsal nights will be Mondays and Wednesdays.
Want to KNow More
For more information please email or phone David Lester at or on 07515 339148.