There’s something about the concept of a series of brutal murders in Great Britain that just sets the heart to singing, no? The Jack The Ripper killings have been adapted into at least two full-length musicals—once in 1974 and again in 1996 (neither of which being particularly memorable)—with god knows how many half-completed, half-hearted attempts decaying in four-track recorders in garages all over the world. And then there’s Stephen Sondheim’s 1979 Broadway hit Sweeney Todd, the gold standard for melodious Grand Guignol extravaganza. And here is the latest offering to the niche genre—Rufus Norris’ film adaptation of Alecky Blythe and Adam Cork’s 2011 Royal National Theatre play, London Road.
Set against the backdrop of the Ipswich serial murders that terrorized the inhabitants of Suffolk, England in the mid-’00s, this retelling uses the precise testimony of the serial killers’ neighbors on London Road, setting their words to music. It co-stars Olivia Colman (Peep Show) as a beset London Road resident and Tom Hardy (reprising his role as a guy who drives a car from Locke) as a creepy cab driver who sings a creepy song about serial killers.
London Road opened in the U.K. earlier this month to mixed reviews, and will hit U.S. theaters on September 9.