Jack the Ripper

Date 6th July 2017
Society Wolverton G & S Society
Venue Stantonbury Campus Theatre, Milton Keynes
Type of Production Musical
Director Graham Breeze
Musical Director Mike Crofts
Choreographer Graham Breeze

Report

Author: Jenny Chandler

The mystery of the unsolved and particularly gruesome murders committed by the assailant named Jack the Ripper back in Victorian times has continued over the intervening years to draw the public in. So it was probably not surprising on arrival to find the foyer crowded and a very full auditorium.

This version of the events is cleverly set by the writers/composer within the environs of Whitechapel but also including  a representation of the early form of the once-popular Music Hall which was presented by landlords of the local public house originally which I felt really helped with dramatisation of the piece.

I thought the size and shape of the stage lent itself to this production particularly well, excellent use had been made of the available space and the set had been well-designed to encompass the action in and around Whitechapel. There were good sound and lighting effects to enhance the atmosphere  and convey the feelings of fear and uncertainty which must have prevailed at the time.

There was plenty of experience on stage who all performed strongly but I think that first and foremost, Jack the Ripper is an ensemble show and the director used the whole company to good effect so that the audience got the feeling of a busy East End. The singing was all robust as befits the local inhabitants and the orchestra supported the whole show well.

I felt that to achieve the full 'flavour' of a show like this it needed a slightly longer run in order to gel - there was a little hesitancy here and there over the delivery of the dialogue and the movement. However, overall, given the time span for performance this was a very creditable presentation and I could see that much hard work by everyone had gone into the show.

Once again thank you to President Clarence for his company throughout the evening.