A musical based on serial killings? Well there’s Sweeney Todd. But that was a highly stylised Broadway number, a Gothic thriller. LONDON ROAD is a musical of a very different stripe,
Hailed as a remarkable, ground-breaking work during two sell-out runs at the National Theatre, this feature film adaptation reunites the award winning team, with script by Alecky Blythe, music by Adam Cork and directed by Rufus Norris, who made the blistering feature film Broken a few years back..
LONDON ROAD documents the events that shook Suffolk in 2006, when the quiet rural town of Ipswich was shattered by the discovery of the bodies of five women. The residents of London Road had struggled for years with frequent soliciting and kerb crawling on their street.
We follow the community who found themselves at the epicentre of the tragic events and the ensuing three ring media circus. What unfolds is a moving story of ordinary people coming together during the darkest of experiences.
This is a film that takes verbatim theatre and lyricises it, making melody from malady, orchestrations from the cadence of speech, and brilliantly captures the rhythms and riffs of intonation, tempo, measure, modulation, meter, and repetition. The music lifts what would have been rather bland, brief interviews into choruses.
LONDON ROAD is astonishing in the way it extracts so entertainingly the musicality of the everyday, the banal, and elevates it. From a community in disharmony a burgeoning harmony emerges and blossoms.
Not every character is singing from the same songbook, socially speaking, yet even from a chorus of disapproval comes a stunning, cohesive composition. From the middle class house-owners, to the targeted prostitutes, the police and the media circus that alights on the town, each has an integral key in this extraordinary urban opera.
LONDON ROAD features an ensemble cast that includes Olivia Colman,Clare Burt, Rosalie Craig, Anita Dobson, James Doherty, Hal Fowler, Kate Fleetwood, Linzi Hateley, Nick Holder, Claire Moore, Michael Shaeffer, Nicola Sloane, Paul Thornley, Howard Ward, Duncan Wisbey and Tom Hardy.