London Road is imaginative and bold. Characters talk and sing (sometimes jarringly) as real-life residents of London Road, the area irrevocably affected by 2006’s Ipswich murders. What they express is verbatim – including stumbles and pitches – what was recorded in interviews: a real, distinct hook first time around.
In translating the original National Theatre production on to film, the musical deserves to make waves through a wider audience. The original cast (plus profile-raising newbies Colman, Hardy and Dobson) expertly bring out both the funny and vaguely grotesque aspects of human nature, although it can veer into a slight “staginess” at times.
As far as innovation goes, London Road is streets ahead – however its intrinsic qualities of “spoken word” song and laudable accuracy may not have such impact on repeat viewings.
CAST: Olivia Colman, Anita Dobson, Tom Hardy, Kate Fleetwood, Paul Thornley
DIRECTOR: Rufus Norris
WRITERS: Alecky Blythe, Adam Cork (composer)
SYNOPSIS: The residents of London Road detail how their lives have been affected in the aftermath of their neighbour’s arrest for the murder of five prostitutes.
A preview screening of London Road was kindly provided by Picturehouse Entertainment and Freuds.