Mark Rylance, once only known for his stage performances but, more recently, for a string of immaculate film performances and elevation to National Treasure status, stars in this gangster flick, which is full of surprises, due to an intelligent script from the director Graham Moore, known for the film about Bletchley Park, The Imitation Game, for which he won the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar in 2015.
Set in Chicago in 1956, The Outfit takes place in a gentlemen’s outfitters run by Leonard Burling (Mark Rylance), an unfailingly polite Englishman. He’s assisted by receptionist Mable, who longs for better things. Most of Leonard’s customers are gangsters who use his back room as a place for trading messages via a humble letter box. Leonard keeps his eyes on his work. That is, until Richie, the son of the local Mob boss (Simon Russell Beale), comes clattering in with a very bloody bullet-wound and a story about a treacherous mole. Richie and his surly deputy, Francis, keep Leonard hostage while they try to figure out the mole’s identity. Soon there’s a dead body and a growing number of suspects.
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Venue: William Loveless Hall