Entertainment & Arts

The Ladykillers to go on tour after West End run

Original cast of The Ladykillers
Image caption The play closes in the West End next month

A new stage adaptation of the classic Ealing comedy The Ladykillers, starring The Thick of It's Peter Capaldi, is to tour the UK and Ireland from September.

The 26-week tour follows a run at London's Gielgud Theatre which closes on 14 April.

Written by Graham Linehan, the comedy is nominated for five Olivier awards including best new play, and best actress for Marcia Warren.

The West End cast includes Ben Miller and Vicar of Dibley actor James Fleet.

The tour begins at Theatre Royal Plymouth, before visiting Canterbury, Sheffield, Birmingham, Southampton, Cambridge, Nottingham, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Glasgow, Malvern and Bath, with further dates set for 2013.

Casting for the tour will be announced soon.

Based on the 1955 film, one of the classic "Ealing comedies" - filmed at Ealing Studios in London, and starring Alec Guinness, The Ladykillers is the story of an eccentric old lady, Mrs Wilberforce (Warren), whose new lodger Professor Marcus (Capaldi) turns out to be the leader of a criminal gang.

The play, directed by Sean Foley, transferred to the Gielgud Theatre in November after a short run at Liverpool Playhouse.

The production is nominated for five Laurence Olivier Awards: best new play, best direction, best set design, best sound design and best actress.

"It was a much-loved film, so the thought of trying to compete with Alec Guinness and his wonderful cast was terrifying," producer Edward Snape told the BBC at the Olivier nominations.

"I think what Graham and Sean Foley have done so brilliantly is make it a companion piece so it doesn't try and compete head on with a film you can't beat."

Linehan is best known for being the writer behind TV comedies Father Ted and The I.T. Crowd.

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