Wednesday, 10 June 2015

London Road

Back in 2006 actor and journalist Alecky Blythe interviewed the residents of a small Ipswich Road about the dreadful fact that a serial killer lived amongst them. The murderer, Stephen Wright, was responsible for killing five young prostitutes. Prostitutes that may of walked , London Road, the road on which he in fact lived.
The transcripts of Blythe's interviews were a powerful testament to how the prostitutes were viewed by flawed but decent blue collar folk and underlined how the residents of London Road joined together to upgrade and beautify their much maligned street.
Adam Cork, listened to these recordings and set the words verbatim to music. Every pause, every sentence's cadence was kept within the score and the resulting Musical is like nothing I have ever seen before
Thornley and Coleman ( centre)

Its an unsettling, and at times incredibly moving experience which weaves together two incredibly strange stories. One is the resurrection from shame by the ordinary residents of London Road and the other is the ghostly survival of the area's prostitutes, women that were generally despised by the residents themselves.
Olivia Coleman and Paul Thornley standout of the ensemble cast and Anitia Dobson turns up in a brief but necessary comic role as a neighbour who gets tangled up with her shopping bags in the police tape cordon ( a wonderfully clever slap stick moment)
London Road is somewhat of a strange experiment in film making, and is not an easy watch.
But it's a powerful film that packs an incredible punch in the guts
8/10

20 comments:

  1. This hasn't come here yet. I've been looking out for it, and am even more now in the light of your verdict.

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  2. Thanks for the "heads up" John. I shall try to see it. Perhaps the sequel will be "Church Lane" but that would need a triple X certificate.

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  4. Never heard of it. My Nana and Pop lived on London Road, in Carlisle though.........funny thing it didn't look as beautiful and as perfect as my memories last time we passed it in January of this year...........

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  5. It sounds fascinating, though i doubt it will ever play in our little town. Hopefully it will appear OnDemand™ on the DVR so i can see it..

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  6. High praise indeed!

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  7. I've not heard of this one. Interesting ...

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  8. Like your film reviews John. I rarely go to the cinema, but know of a lot that goes on there through your blog.

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  9. It was a horrible time for everyone in Ipswich and Suffolk, the news was constant. Lots of organisations came together to help prostitutes to get them off drugs and off the streets and I believe the way they worked together has been copied in other towns. I do think the film/musical should have been filmed in Ipswich and not London. I'll not be going to see it.

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    1. Sue, its a sympathetic film ( but not entirely)
      And i think the real residents of london Road appeared in the film at the end

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  10. Is it going to general release, or just a one off art house film?

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    1. It goes out nationally tomorrow Gary

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  11. I was just going to say it was big news here but Sue beat me to it. It was very distressing because it seemed like every male in Norfolk and Suffolk was a suspect and we had a road transport business and lorry drivers/van drivers were high on the list. I cant imagine too many people around here particularly wanting to see it. But thanks for the review, an interesting film to make if you are a filmmaker no doubt.

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    1. The morality of making the film was discussed before the special screening
      And i must admit i was unsure that it was too soon or indeed right to make a musical in the first place.
      It was a powerful film that says alot about a great deal

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    2. It was reviewed similarly in the Guardian yesterday. The filmmaker himself said he felt that the film lacked the feelings of the residents who themselves had teenage daughters and the closeness of prostitutes to them and fears for their daughters that they must have had growing up in that environment.

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  12. I can tell what a wonderful writer you are from these movie reviews you write.
    What a subject, what a movie and a musical what guts or inspiration ?

    Hope Meg is feeling somewhat better today.
    cheers, parsnip

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  13. I hadn't even read about it being released. Sounds good, I'll have a nosey.

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  14. I think I'd find the subject being made into a musical unsettling but perhaps should watch it anyway.

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  15. Thanks for this review! I've been very curious about this film.

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  16. We saw this at the premiere...The Cat's Mother enjoyed it more than me. I wonder whether some of the people who made some quite startling comments that are now incorporated into the film/play feel about them? It's clearly a great piece of work...but perhaps a bit too arts experiment for most...

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