The plot, based around the robbery of a large sum of money, seems pretty straight however, the five robbers, who disguise themselves as amateur musicians have not accounted for the meddling of a sweet old lady, Mrs Wilberforce, the owner of the house they are staying in.
Peter Haslam gave a sterling performance as Professor Marcus, the leader of the gang, with well-timed delivery, great facial expressions and an assumed confidence that he is in total control of the situation. His untimely meeting with the front of a train proves this not to be the case.
Ian Duckworth as dim-witted One Round, aka Mr Lawson, provides plenty of laugh-out-loud moments as he struggles to keep the secret.
When he finally spills the beans, his comedic confusion was great to see. This is complemented by Chris Hatchman who also gives a comic performance as the Cockney spiv with an OCD for cleaning. Chris has stage presence aplenty and is very easy to watch.
Adding to the confusion is Mark Weatherall as General Courtney. Mark's ability to characterise is second nature and he displays a great performance as the military buff.
This revered major is well respected amongst the other gangsters, however, his penchant for ladies' dresses does cause them to give him hilarious double takes.
James Abercrombie, as Louis, sustains a continental accent throughout. Dressed as a typical 1950s gangster he fumbles his way through understanding the English language which results in communication confusions throughout, only adding to the hilarity of the evening.
Barry Callander, as the Policeman, gives a subtle and understanding portrayal in dealing with the eccentricities of what he thinks is a sweet old lady who is making the whole thing up.
An array of “ladies” played by members of the company donned the stage for the recital of one of Marcus’s lesser known out of tune pieces, much to their delight, although in a certain light Josephine looked more like a John — and had the five o’clock shadow to prove it.
The set design by Jason Crompton, who has also excelled in the direction of this piece, is nothing short of brilliant — three sets in one, encompassing sitting room, bedroom and rooftop — well designed and used to the maximum.