“Do you know Jack the Ripper?

“No, who is he?”

“You don’t know him? He is the most famous rapist! He killed five prostitutes and sent their organs to police and the news agencies with a letter. And this is his area.”

“Really, he lives here where I live?”

“Yes, he used to operate here.”

“Where is he now?”

“He is dead.”

“Oh God! I almost had heart attack.”

A scene from London Road Musical.

My  heart started to pump  fear, anger,disgust into my veins just in a few seconds,as if all my blood was now in my brain, my eyes  were ten times bigger and almost popped out  when my friend told me that the most famoust rapist lived where I live. It was that moment when I visualised every scene of “London Road” automatically which left an acidic taste in my mind last week at National Theatre Cottesloe’s small stage.

Because Steve Wright in Alecky Blythe and Adam Cork’s musical drama “London Road”, who murdered five prostitutes over a month in 2006 in Ipswich and traumatised everybody in London Road where he lived ,was not very different from Jack the Ripper apart from his religious motives.

However it is not Steve Wright who made Alecky Blythe knock every single door in London Road and see the traumatising effects of his murder on the community and record what its members said, it is Blythe’s sensible compassion and her artistic responsibility. While she dares  to show us how murders  of women can bring the disconnected community together she is also frank enough not to hide the same community’s racist approach in  identifying  the murderer before they knew it was Steve Wright.

When Wayne and Graham are in the Starbucks talking about the suspected murderer Wayne says:

“We hoped it was an immigrant from nish-noff land-

Graham: “And if it was an immigrant there will be uproar.”

Wayne: “And they will send the fuckers all back.”

Graham: “I am not like that. I mean –I am sure you are not like that deep down.”

Wayne: “I fucking am. I reckon it is one Polish bastard. We fucking have him.”

While men try to overcome the shocking situation together and at some point get suspicious of each other; women, who don’t dare to go out at night after Wright’s murders, get suspicious of every man in the town and say:”You automatically think it could be him.” When chorus go on and say “Ha ha ha! ,it is hard not to feel their strong fear over the murders in their song which is the main feature of every musical. The community’s fear and anger are too strong to express  as a speech threfore  they sing which might confuse some of the audiences.

However Blythe and Cork break one stereotype in the audiences ‘ minds by turning a shocking story into a musical without losing their artistic sensitivity which is why Blythe said : “London Road is not Mamma Mia.” in an interview with one of the London newspapers.

The musical will be shown at national Theatre until 18 June 2011 for those who dare to break their stereotypes about musicals.


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