Yours Truly, Jack The Ripper
1888 five women were brutally murdered on the streets of East London. The
killer was never caught, but more than a century later his name still carries
terrifying echoes of that autumn terror.
'Yours Truly, Jack The Ripper' is a drama which looks at the case through the eyes of the Commissioner of Metropolitan Police. As he resigns on the day of the last murder he recounts the terrible weeks when East London was under a reign of fear and the world held it's breath. The play graphically evokes once more the circumstances of the Whitechapel murders and their social and political effects.
Using the words of actual witnesses in the case, and underscored with music of the period, the production brings to life and the terrible facts of the world's most infamous murders.
FASCINATING TAKE ON AN ENDURING MYSTERY
Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper , Brunton Theatre
Dave Marsden and Pat Abernethy Impress
There was a palpable air of uncertainty in the supper room of Brunton Theatre on Saturday night as the strains of 'Abide With Me' faded and the lights rose on the simlpe set of Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper... Opening on the evening of November 10th 1888 in the office of the Commissioner of Metropolitan Police Sir Charles Warren(Pat Abernethy) the world outside his window is baying for his blood, or at least his resignation, following the fifth murder in ten weeks by Jack the Ripper . With the media whipping up a frenzy of rumour and a government in panic over the lack of an arrest, Warren reflects on recent events as he pours over the case files. Offering evocative descriptions of an East End rife with racial and social tensions, the air thick with the stench of slaghterhouses and human waste, Abernethy and his stage partner Dave Marsden - taking on multiple roles -led the audience into the busy streets with intensity and much gallows humour.
Offering a running commentary on the final hours of the poor souls who had their dates with death in scarlet at the hands of Jack, at times this was like watching a 19th century episode of TVs '24' the clock ticking on the final hours of five women who would never have their deaths avenged with the capture of the Ripper. Although not interacting on stage, the combination of Abernethy's gravitas and Marsden's ability to effortlessly switch personas meant the pair complemented each other throughout. While never reaching any conclusion on the true identity of Jack, this was both a timely reminder of the birth of the scandal obsessed British press and a non-sensationalist account of a bleak period in London's history.
(Edinburgh Evening News, 2008 - Four Star Review)
The play was written by Patrick Prior and it was a truly remarkable piece of drama. The women never appear on the stage... but such was the strength of the script that I felt I had met them all.The author's empathy with the poor of the East End shone though and was most moving.The two actors carried the script along beautifully and there was also light relief by the way of music and songs of the time.It was a short play, just over an hour long but made up in quality what it lacked in quantity. At the end of the evening I was no nearer knowing who the Ripper might be, but I had spent an intriguing and thought-provoking evening courtesy of Isosceles.
( Surrey Review)
The graphic details on Jack the Ripper's horrendous crimes could have been almost too much to take, but this was a very well told tale by Pat Abernethy and Dave Marsden from Isosceles...and along with the music and hymns of the time we were given a real flavour of the East End of London in the late 19th century.
...a dramatic lecture, informative, interesting, well performed...The music of the period, both as background and as the occasional song was excellent, and there were some fascinating titbits of information.
"t's not often that I am fascinated by a production but this one is not only well performed but also informative.
(Scot FM Radio)
"Great dramatic , entertaining slant on Jack the Ripper case, performed by two wonderful professionals. Captured the atmosphere of Victorian Whitechapel. Looking forward to seeing these great actors in Jekyll and Hyde."
"Had a brilliant night."
"Really enjoyed last night, well done, I thought it was really atmospheric with the songs and projections. Gripping stuff."
"Really enjoyed the performance. Thank you."
"The play was really well done."
"I wanted to congratulate you on a lovley piece of writing, the women's story was told beautifully and was handled with the dignity they deserved. A very lovely evening and a great piece of theatre - the use of music was great."
This play has already been successfully performed at the following:
Kings's Lynn Arts Centre
Wilde Theatre, Bracknell
Norden Farm Centre For The Arts, Maidenhead
Festival of Chichester
Edinburgh Festival 2001
Welsh Arts Council Tour
Epsom Playhouse Studio
Wimbledon Studio Theatre
Hoxton Hall, London
Bierkeller Theatre, Bristol
Subscription Rooms, Stroud
Stables Theatre, Hastings
Underground Theatre, Eastbourne
Ifield Barn, Crawley
Yvonne Arnaud Mill Studio, Guildford
Limelight Theatre, Aylesbury
The Space Arts Centre, London
East Kilbride Arts Centre
Heron Theatre , Cumbria
Riverside Theatre, Coleraine
Market Place Theatre, Armagh
Coartyard Theatre, Newtonabbey
Pitlochry Festival Theatre
Royal College Of Surgeons, Edinburgh
Haddo House, Aberdeen
Birchvale Theatre, Dalbeattie
Brunton Theatre, Musselburgh
Arts Guild Theatre, Greenock
Eccleshall School, Norfolk
Brookside Theatre, Romford