THE MAIN elements needed for a good comedy are a sound script and story, great characters and a talented cast to play them and Ladykillers by All and Sundry had all four.
The plot centred around a group of armed robbers who, whilst planning a big-money heist, masqueraded as classical musicians and set up base in the home of old lady Mrs Wilberforce and her poorly parrot General Gordon.
As the play unfolded, the lies and deceit increased and so did the laughs as the audience took this erratic bunch to their hearts.
The chemistry between the characters, their body language and the actors’ timing in this production was second to none.
Dave Healing was fantastic as intellectually challenged One Round, Nick Whitehouse was a a crowd favourite as spiv-like Cockney Harry Robinson and Roger Goddard delivered some super lines as Romanian gangster Louise Harvey.
Among the best performers on the evening were Sheila Proudfoot who played gullible and seemingly senile Mrs Wilberforce to perfection and Mike Richardson as the hilarious stuttering and cross-dressing Major Courtney.
But Mark Clayton, who is becoming renowned for his energetic performances, stole the show as gang boss Professor Marcus, driving this fast-paced farce forward. The audience clearly empathised with the character and his predicament – trying to lead a group of hapless heroes.
The piece was well-directed by Mike Jeffrey – as well as the characters and their timing, the set and sound effects were clever.
Ladykillers was another triumph for All and Sundry.
You will struggle to find another production which involves so many erratic characters bouncing off each other in such a confined space and there were plenty of twists and turns in the script as well so the crowd did not know what was going to happen next.
And the feel-good factor of the ending, despite so much black comedy in the second half, sent the audience home happy and chuckling to themselves about what they had just witnessed.
The remaining performances take place at 7.30pm tonight (Friday) and tomorrow (Saturday).
Tickets, costing £13 (£12 concessions) are available at www.redditchpalacetheatre.co.uk or call 01527 65203.