Classic Ealing comedy The Ladykillers, about an eccentric little old lady and a motley bunch of criminals, is to be brought to the London stage by a star-studded cast this autumn.
When the comedy opens at the Gielgud theatre on 26 November, The Thick Of It’s Peter Capaldi will follow in the footsteps of Alec Guinness, leading the cast as Professor Marcus, the chief of a ragtag group of law-breakers planning to rob a security van, who use the aged Mrs Wilberforce as their cover.
James Fleet, Ben Miller, Clive Rowe and Stephen Wight make up the oddball gang, played in the 1955 film by Cecil Parker, Herbert Lom, Peter Sellers and Danny Green.
Miller and Fleet are both best known for their roles in TV comedy series; Fleet playing Hugo in The Vicar Of Dibley and Miller as one half of double-act Armstrong and Miller.
Rowe, who won an Olivier Award for his performance in the National Theatre production of Guys And Dolls, is a regular London performer whose recent credits include Twelfth Night and The Fantasticks.
Wight, recently seen in TV sitcom Whites, won the Evening Standard’s Outstanding Newcomer Award when he appeared in the Donmar Warehouse’s production of Don Juan In Soho.
The quintet is joined by multi-Olivier Award-winner Marcia Warren as Mrs Wilberforce.
Graham Linehan, the writer behind hit TV comedies Father Ted and The IT Crowd, turns his hand to West End comedy for the first time with The Ladykillers, which is directed by Sean Foley, who previously directed hit London giggle-athon The Play What I Wrote.
The Ladykillers is the first production to be presented by new company Fiery Dragons, in association with Stage Entertainment UK and Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse, where it will play a short season prior to the West End.
Fiery Dragons combines the producing skills of Luke Johnson, Raymond Gubbay and Edward Snape. Following The Ladykillers, its future projects include a West End production of Me And My Girl and a sequel to the award-winning comedy adaptation of The 39 Steps, due in Spring 2012.