September 18 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
A musical drama about the Ipswich murders which originally created controversy is now being seen as a force for good after raising £36,000 for a support charity.
The money, raised from the audiences of London Road theatre productions and by the cast of the forthcoming film version, has been donated to help vulnerable people in the town.
The musical deals the killings of five sex workers - Tania Nicol, Gemma Adams, Anneli Alderton, Paula Clennell and Annette Nicholls - by Steve Wright in late 2006.
It was originally met with cynicism by some people when it opened in 2011, but it has since won high-acclaim - with theatregoers also being asked to make charitable donations.
Now it has emerged Iceni, the Ipswich charity which had been trying to help drug-addicted sex workers at the time of the murders and now works with families needing assistance, has been the recipient of the money.
In addition it has also received £500 from the cast and crew who began work on the film version of London Road earlier this year. It will star BAFTA-winning actress Olivia Colman and Tom Hardy, who was in the third of the Batman trilogy The Dark Knight Rises.
A total of £250 was raised after an unnamed cast member who keeps chickens raffled off six of the birds’ eggs. The same cast member has pledged to at least double the figure when the film is released.
Brian Tobin, chief executive of Iceni and a consultant on the film, said: “What happened in 2006 is a legacy this town does not want but we are going to be constantly reminded of it because of what occurred.
“It is refreshing that London Road is still helping to create awareness and change public attitudes about those individuals on the edges of society.
“The amount of money raised just goes to show people do care.
“When you work with people in these situations it gives us confidence that others share similar feelings to us, and for us that also sums up the people of Ipswich.”
Mr Tobin declined to say which cast member raised the £500 as he said they were not seeking the publicity.
He added Iceni has also received £2,000 this year in donations from people who wanted to acknowledge the work the charity has put in since 2006 to help vulnerable members of the community.
London Road records the events of 2006 and focuses on the residents in the area who struggled for years with frequent soliciting and kerb-crawling near their homes.
When Wright, who lived in London Road, was arrested, charged and convicted of the murders, the community came under the spotlight.
The musical drama opened in April 2011 at the Cottesloe Theatre in London, where £25,000 was donated.
It then was performed at the larger Olivier Theatre the following year and raised £11,000 in six weeks.
As from yesterday London Road began an 11-day run at the Bristol Old Vic where more donations are expected to be raised.