I was lucky enough to catch this play recently during its second run.

At the centre of Alecky Blythe and Adam Cork’s musical at the National Theatre are the real-life and tragic murders of six prostitutes in Ipswich a few years ago. However, to some extent the actual murders are peripheral, as the play focuses on the community of London Road, neighbours of the convicted murderer, and the effect of the notorious and gruesome events on their lives, both individually and collectively. The play is based on interviews with the real inhabitants of the street, and the 11 actors who represent the community feel spell-bindingly real and authentic.

It may seem strange to present such a topic as a musical, but it works, and even enhances the impact, the emotional content and pathos, and the humanness of it all.

There are no lessons to be learnt here, but perhaps a reminder that the knock-on effects of human tragedy reach far and wide, and may pass unnoticed unless we seek them out.

 

CQ

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