It’s difficult not to look at London Road and think that it ought to have been a disaster. For a start, a musical about a fairly recent serial killer case sounds tacky and a little bit tasteless. Likewise, having a musical where all the lyrics are taken from real-life interviews, using the original genuine speech-patterns, sounds like the sort of thing that might be nice as an artistic exercise, but not anything that could create good songs that people would be interested in hearing.
However, when London Road reached the National Theatre stage in London, critics had to eat their words and admit it was really good. Whether it would survive a jump to film was another matter, as while it worked within the inherent theatrical artifice of the stage, bringing it out into the ‘real world’ is something rather different. [Read more…]