Your Chicago Guide’s tickets for two to the press viewing of London Road courtesy of Shattered Globe Theatre.
Shattered Globe Theatre concludes its 2022-23 season with the U.S. premiere of London Road, an experimental and innovative new musical featuring book and lyrics by Alecky Blythe, music and lyrics by Adam Cork, direction and movement by Elizabeth Margolius and music direction by Andra Velis Simon. London Road is now playing through June 3, 2023 at Theater Wit.
Determined and tenacious, the residents of London Road mobilize to overcome the immense fear and media circus that unfolds following the serial murder of 5 sex workers in their small town of Ipswich. This experimental and innovative new musical is based on a true story, using the dialogue recorded during interviews with the people of Ipswich. Brought to the American stage for the first time ever, London Road is an uplifting story that reveals how a devastating tragedy can spark empathy and engender community resilience.
The musical is set in and around London Road in Ipswich, Suffolk, during the Ipswich serial murders and subsequent trial of killer Steve Wright in 2006–2008. The piece is written in verbatim style, meaning the spoken text is reproduced by the performers exactly as recorded in interviews. The interviews were conducted by Alecky Blythe with the residents of London Road and some of the women who worked as prostitutes there, as well as members of the media who gathered in the area to report the news. The lyrics in the musical segments are similarly derived from the interviews as recorded. The meter, pitch and rhythm of the music follow the patterns of the original recorded speech as closely as possible.
Neither the murdered women nor their killer are depicted, nor are the murders themselves. Instead, the piece is concerned with the residents as they cope with the events unfolding around them, the media attention drawn to their neighbourhood, and their attempts to rebuild and regenerate their community afterwards. London Road does not feature principal characters in the conventional sense. Instead, an ensemble cast assume the roles of various locals, sex workers and reporters, and most characters are not referred to by name. The cast portrays over sixty different characters in total.
Producing Artistic Director Sandy Shinner says: “As an ensemble theatre company, Shattered Globs is thrilled to produce our first large cast show since 2019. In the spirit of abundance London Road provides us with a wonderful opportunity to compensate and showcase as many artists as possible. This new musical is about a community overcoming monumental obstacles with celebration and growth, a theme that mirrors both the times we live in and Shattered Globe’s own success as we emerge from early-pandemic closures, producing exciting new theatre while expanding our communities and networks of artists.”
London Road is playing through June 3, 2023 at Theater Wit, 1229 W. Belmont Ave, in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood.
Tickets are now on sale at sgtheatre.org/london/, by calling (773) 975-8150 or in person at the Theater Wit Box Office.