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Review of Killer at Shoreditch Town Hall

Killer at Shoreditch Town Hall. John MacMillan. Photo credit Matt Humphrey
Killer at Shoreditch Town Hall. John MacMillan. Photo credit Matt Humphrey

A killer. That’s what I am. And if I’m not very much mistaken… You could be too.
Staring into the darkness of a cold basement room, the heart starts racing as the mind hears whispering. The whispering sound of a deep voice begins to taunt the mind; it’s difficult to differentiate whose thoughts are whose as the voice speaks chillingly through the headphones. The haunting sounds that jolt our internal instincts were uncovered by the voice of John MacMillan in the bone-chilling world premiere of Killer.

East London writer, Philip Ridley takes audiences on a surreal journey through eerie sounds, spine-chilling lighting and raw storytelling in his new work Killer. This play toys with the rationales behind our killer human instincts that when provoked will cause anxiety. Jamie Lloyd’s direction of this piece is an intriguing and intense work of theatre that will emotionally shake all audiences.

In The Ditch of Shoreditch Town Hall – without giving too much away – this play will move and push audiences out of their comfort zone. The work is engaging, but doesn’t expect audience involvement. The movement in between spaces inflicted the sensations of personal anxieties. As we sat staring into the darkness, we were submerged into the unknown and engrossed in the narratives told to us through our headphones. The sound coming from the headphones, played with the mind as our hearing senses were heightened due to the absence of light in the space. This is not a performance to watch, it’s a performance to absorb the anxious feelings of discomfort and lack of security found in our lives.

As the solo actor in the space, MacMillan’s performance was absolutely spectacular. The way he played with the sound of the headphones and the acoustics of the spaces was disturbing. At times, it felt like MacMillan was standing tantalisingly behind us, but with the lack of light, we’ll never know where he stood. Listening from one ear to the other, it felt like our consciousness was sharing a secret. The depth of MacMillan’s performance was immersive and passionate as he took us on an inventive journey of self-analysis by provoking our internal killers.

5 Star Rating

Review by Aly Chromy

A killer! That’s what I am. And if I’m not very much mistaken…You could be too!
A loner finds an albino ostrich that can perform miracles. A one-legged surfer grows a new limb. A lonely maid’s chance at romance is ruined by a sledgehammer. Killer is a magical and, at times, menacing anthology of stories told in the recesses of the dark…

Employing binaural sound, director Jamie Lloyd takes you on an intimate journey within the bowels of Shoreditch Town Hall and the depths of your psyche. In this world première production, Philip Ridley’s darkly comic collection of new monologues shiver with the anxiety of our age.

Starring John MacMillan (recently seen in Yerma at the Young Vic, Jamie Lloyd’s production of The Homecoming at Trafalgar Studios and the BBC’s Silk)

Directed by Jamie Lloyd; Designed by Soutra Gilmour; Lighting by Azusa Ono; Sound by Ben & Max Ringham and George Dennis; Composition by Ben & Max Ringham; Casting by Charlotte Sutton

Playing: Tuesday 28 February – Saturday 8 April 2017


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