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The Murder Club

Written by Steve Hennessy
Directed by David Wotton

06 Aug 2022 to 26 Aug 2022
theSpace on the Mile

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1922 and murder is in the air. Britain is engaged in a genocidal war in Iraq using poison gas and other weapons of mass destruction and two notorious murderers are meeting for the first time in Broadmoor. They have been put in charge of an evening of entertainment. Welcome to the Murder Club.

Propaganda and reality, fact and fiction, real life and theatre, madness and sanity. The lines blur and shift uneasily in an intense psychological thriller.

First produced in 2003, this new co - production of 'The Murder Club' with Edinburgh - based Pear Productions will run alongside 5 other Stepping Out productions at the 2022 Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

The complete text of 'The Murder Club' was published in the summer 2005 issue of 'Plays International' with photos by Ian Wilmot.

'The Murder Club' is part of the 'Lullabies of Broadmoor Quartet' which also includes 'Wilderness', 'Venus at Broadmoor' and 'The Demon Box'. All four plays can be staged and seen separately. The quartet completed a national tour in 2011 including a full run at the Edinburgh Festival and at the Finborough Theatre in London.


Cast

Olive Young . . . Phoebe Duncan
Richard Prince . . . Ewan McIntosh
Jane Coleman . . . Annalise McNicol
Ronald True . . . Ryan Forrester

Crew

Director . . . David Wotton
Stage Manager . . . Annalise McNicol
Set/Costume Design . . . Ewan McIntosh
Props . . . Phoebe Duncan
Lighting and Sound Design . . . David Wotton
Lighting and Sound Technicians . . . Scott Ajaray, Jessica Martin
Graphic Design . . . Ann Stiddard


Reviews

"Ryan Forrester gives an unsettling portrayal of True . . truly sinister at times, highlighting Forrester's ability to switch between masked malevolence and nice-guy facade . . brilliant accent work and great intonation . . Phoebe Duncan (is) a brilliant narrator . . switching effortlessly between accents and voices when reliving past events or mocking people. Ewan McIntosh as Prince is very strong . . Annalise McNicol does very well as the bored, Murder obsessed warden, Jane Coleman. Her fed-up delivery of most lines allows for some comedy throughout, letting the many tense moments have a much-needed break. She is also believable as a woman in power, or at least a woman who believes she is in power. McNicol allows Coleman to slowly slip into True's spell, all while keeping her razor-sharp instincts.
David Wotton did a good job in the Director's chair . . lighting and sound were also very effective. Different colours and brightnesses are used to communicate to the audience when we are in the real world and when in the spirit world, where Olive resides.
. . Enticing and exciting . . very dramatic and keeps the audience on the edge of their seats. Each character has space to grow and breathe. As we learn how much of a monster True really is and the horrible things Olive has gone through in her life, the audience aches for Olive, the real heart of this piece, as she can only watch on and hope that no one else meets the same grizzly fate she did."

     Sam Eastop, Theatre Scotland

"The parallels that are drawn between different types of 'murderer' are all the more intriguing for not being remotely heavy-handed . . The story itself is told with similar sensitivity. Qualms about the murders of real women being sensationalised are dealt with head-on, not to say graphically. The ghostly figure of Olive (the sex worker killed by True) is in many ways the play's central character, and uncomfortable issues are confronted . . Phoebe Duncan's ghostly Olive is magnetic, full of bewilderment and fury, and the scenes detailing her abusive childhood are particularly well handled . . Ewan McIntosh gives Prince, a struggling actor who killed matinee idol William Terriss, a chilly hauteur which works well . . The switch of the staff member John Coleman to Jane may be a strange one historically, but works brilliantly in dramatic terms, with Annalise McNicol's murder-obsessed time-server of a guard in many ways the most convincing performance. David Wotton's direction is economical, with McIntosh's design making good use of the acting space . . Overall, however, this is a production of praiseworthy seriousness and sympathy, performed with considerable grace."
 Hugh Simpson, AllEdinburghTheatre.com


Contact

Stepping Out Theatre
13 Creedwell Orchard
Milverton
Taunton
TA4 1JY

Registered Charity (CIO) 1179310 (since July 2018), Formerly Charity 1117912 (since February 2007)

e. info@steppingouttheatre.co.uk
m. 07896 684097

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