Do not be put off by the fact that this film is set at the time of the serial killings in Ipswich in 2006. It is not about those murders. It is about how the community who lived in London Road, neighbours of Steve Wright and disturbed by the prostitution going on around them, cope with the media circus and come to terms with what has happened. The film is based on highly innovative musical play, first performed in 2011, with a book by Alecky Blythe and a score by Adam Cork. Blythe based the book on interviews with the people actually living on London Road and Cork shaped and reordered verbatim speech to create a piece of choric theatre. Phrases like “I’ve got nearly 17 hanging baskets in this back garden” and “Everyone’s very, very nervous” echo through the action so that they acquire a poetic intensity.
The film has the same director as the play, Rufus Norris, who has recently taken over as Director of the National Theatre, where the play was first produced. Critics have differed in their opinions as to how well it has translated to the screen but those who have praised it have praised it very highly. Olivia Coleman was not in the stage production but her final speech is said to be ‘electrifying’.
The play London Road won Best Musical at the 2011 Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards.
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Venue: William Loveless Hall