I have watched the classic Ealing film numerous times over the years with its steam trains and nostalgic 50’s setting.
I have also seen the West End stage blockbuster, noted for its impressive hi-tech scenic effects using miniature trains and a revolving stage.
Consequently, I was rather apprehensive as to how this story could be properly executed on a small stage.
I need not have worried.
All the humour of the script, written by Father Ted author Graham Linehan, shone through, thanks to sterling performances by the cast who seemed to enjoy every minute.
Susan Hilton was outstanding as Mrs Wilberforce, not looking a day under 80 (thanks to clever make-up), the sweet little old lady who shelters a group of supposed classical musicians who turn out to be robbers.
When they realise she knows their secret, she has to be silenced.
David Reid excelled in the Alec Guinness role of Professor Marcus, leader of the group. David Walker, sporting a fine moustache, looked quite the part as Major Courtney; Steven Catterall was in Del Boy mode as Harry Robinson; Ashley Hambrook played gangster, Louis, with a curious Romanian accent and Andy Burke had the best lines as the gormless muscle, One Round.
Special mention for Barry Callander as PC McDonald, whose expressions spoke a thousand words, and Moyra Walsh as the matronly groupie.
Not to mention the anonymous thespian playing General Gordon!
A cleverly built set accommodated all the necessary acrobatics, which were accomplished with an impressive dexterity, aided by well-timed sound effects, something for which CADOS has always been noted for.
Another triumph for the company and director Sean Duxbury. I look forward to their seasonal production ‘The Elves and the Shoemaker’ come December.