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Killing ladies and a party for the Queen of Crime

By North Devon Journal  |  Posted: August 30, 2012

  • Kate O'Mara plays Miss ffoliot-ffoulkes (CORR) in Bill Kenwright's production of MURDER ON THE NILE by Agatha Christie directed by Joe Harmston

  • RECORD BREAKER: The Ladykillers opens its UK tour at the Theatre Royal Plymouth. Graham Linehan's hit adaptation of the classic 1955 Ealing comedy stars Michele Dotrice, Shaun Williamson and Clive Mantle.

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John Lyon looks at the best shows coming to the South West in September, worth taking a trip to see:

Plymouth Theatre Royal:

THE hit adaptation of the classic 1955 Ealing comedy The Ladykillers begins its 26-week UK tour at Plymouth's Theatre Royal on Friday, September 14.

It follows a critically acclaimed West End run, enjoying five nominations in the 2012 Laurence Olivier Awards, including Best New Play and Best Set Design.

The play smashed all known box office records at the Gielgud Theatre by taking just under £400,000 in a single week over Christmas.

It tells the story of the eccentric little old lady Mrs Wilberforce who lives alone with her parrot in a strange lopsided house in King's Cross. Her life is turned upside down by the arrival of Professor Marcus and his four friends, who between them make up the most unlikely group of criminals. Planning the heist of a security van, they decide to use Mrs Wilberforce as cover and involve her unwittingly in the plot. Things do not go well and the professor's plan starts to unravel in spectacular and hilarious fashion. The much loved film starred Alec Guinness and Peter Sellers.

This stage production of The Ladykillers has been adapted by Graham Linehan, best known for being the writer behind TV comedies Father Ted and The I.T. Crowd.

Michele Dotrice plays Mrs Wilberforce. She is perhaps best known for her role as Betty, the long- suffering wife of Frank Spencer, played by Michael Crawford, in the BBC's highly successful comedy series Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em.

Box Office: 01752 267222.

Princess Theatre, Torquay:

DYNASTY and Bad Girls star Kate O'Mara, has the leading role in the Agatha Christie Theatre Company's production of Murder On The Nile at Torquay's Princess Theatre from September 10-15.

The production is one of the highlights of the resort's annual festival celebrating the greatest female crime writer's association with Torbay where she was born and grew up and wrote many of her crime mysteries.

The world-famous festival runs from September 9-16. Fans will enjoy exclusive visits to her holiday home at Greenway, vintage bus rides, murder mystery dinners, tea dances and garden parties. It begins with the traditional Agatha Christie Fete, on the seafront on Sunday, September 9.

Box office: 0844 8713023.

Exeter Northcott Theatre:

THE Indian Tempest (Wednesday September 26 to Saturday, September 29) is a rich and evocative reworking of one of Shakespeare's greatest plays, featuring an international cast and a spectacular mix of traditional performing arts, street theatre, circus skills, mime, shadow play and carnival.

The show by Footsbarn Theatre comes to Exeter as one of only two UK dates in 2012 as part of an international tour.

Box office: 01392 493493.

Plymouth Pavilions:

COMEDIAN John Bishop returns to Plymouth for two new shows on Tuesday September 18-19. The star of BBC One's John Bishop's Britain and Sky 1's A League Of Their Own previews his new arena show, Rollercoaster.

Box office: 0845 1461460.

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