THE Ladykillers is a 2011 stage adaptation by Father Ted creator Graham Linehan based on the Ealing comedy film of the same name.

And come Thursday, May 30, Burneside Amateur Theatrical Society starts a three-night run of the comic caper at The Bryce.

The play is a classic black comedy, which tells of a sweet little Mrs Wilberforce, alone in her house, pitted against a gang of criminal misfits who will stop at nothing.

Posing as amateur musicians, Professor Marcus and his gang rent rooms in the lopsided house of Mrs Wilberforce. The villains plot to involve her, unwittingly, in Marcus' brilliantly conceived heist job. The police are left stumped, but Mrs Wilberforce becomes wise to their ruse and Marcus concludes that there is only one way to keep the old lady quiet.

With only her parrot, General Gordon, to help her, Mrs Wilberforce is alone with five dastardly dudes.

Director Gordon Lawson said that BATS had staged quite a few heavy plays over the last few years, such as Frankenstein and Don't Look Now, and they'd been looking around for something a little lighter but also something that would still challenge the cast and crew: "The Ladykillers has always been a favourite film of mine and when the rights became available to us, we thought that this would be a great one to do," added Gordon. "Still in the BATS tradition of quirky, edgy productions, but this time with a lot of laughs."

The ambitious and imaginative BATS version has one of the largest sets ever constructed at the Burneside venue, with the upstairs and downstairs of Mrs Wilberforce’s rather lopsided house recreated on the stage and in the hall at the Bryce.

"Looking at the script, which gives stage productions notes based on a revolving stage, planning a two story house, with downstairs kitchen and entrance hall, coupled with the requirement to play some of the action on the roof, required some considerable thinking about," explained Gordon. "We created a model of the set so that we could plan the build, but also so the cast could visualise the acting space.

"It's been a big job to build."

As for the talented cast, Wayne Bartholomew plays Constable Macdonald; Rita Brown is Mrs Wilberforce, Duncan Cramphorn takes the role of Professor Marcus; and in the guise of Major Courtney will be Martin Cash.

Jackie O’Sullivan plays the part of Mrs Tromleyton; Richard Warburton will be One-Round; Adam Carruthers is in the spotlight as Louis and Phil Davies plays Harry Robinson.

The Ladykillers runs from Friday-Saturday, May 30 until June 1.

Performances start at 7.30pm.

Tickets at