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Alecky Blythe turns tragedy into verbatim theatre in London Road

The British playwright's musical about the Ipswich serial murders has now been turned into a film.
British playwright Alecky Blythe wrote the musical London Road, which has now been turned into a movie. (Touchwood Public Relations)
Listen15:51

Alecky Blythe was working on another play when the Ipswich serial murders of five prostitutes were brought to her attention. 

Having already spent six months on that play, about a group of sex workers, Blythe went to Ipswich to see if she could collect more information for her play in progress. Instead, she found a new focus.

"The center of the story didn't really kick in for me till six months after the murders," Blythe admits. But once she found that the residents living there was the core of this story, she dove in, collecting interviews with locals over the next two and a half years.

The result is something called verbatim theatre where those interviews are turned into the script and songs of the play, called London Road, which has now been turned into a movie.

"The music is incredibly complicated because of the rhythms of the original speech patterns," Blythe explains. "It was an enormous learn for the actors. I hoped that people could take it on but it requires a bit of work to really pull off."  

WEB EXTRA | Watch the trailer for London Road below.

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