Ipswich: Theatre boss defends Steve Wright murders show

THE manager of a London theatre has defended a controversial new show about the murders of five sex workers in Ipswich – and said it will no longer be referred to as a “musical”.

The production, titled ‘London Road’, has attracted controversy since the National Theatre announced plans to stage it later this year.

Steve Wright was jailed for life after being found guilty of murdering Gemma Adams, Tania Nicol, Anneli Alderton, Paula Clennell, and Annette Nicholls, in 2006.

The theatre’s manager John Langley said the show would not ‘be musical entertainment’, or include dances or traditional songs in it.

Mr Langley said: “London Road has been created from edited interviews recorded with people from Ipswich.

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“It very much focuses on the effect on the community of this tragic event, rather than on the murders, or victims themselves.

“It looks at how the community was able to create something positive out of the tragedy.

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“We’re not going to call it a musical in future because we recognise that has given people a misleading impression.

“In fact, the music will do something very different by reflecting the voices of the interviewees.

“We do realise how sensitive a subject this is and hope people see that the piece doesn’t seek to exploit or sensationalise a very tragic event. It is trying to shed light on an untold side of the story.”

Speaking last week, James Duell, the father of Ms Nicol, said: “Everyone’s different and some of the families might be offended. I know the other families I met in court were nice, placid people.

“I’m not going to go rushing down to London. If it’s offensive I might be thinking otherwise. “The main thing for me is the truth is being portrayed.”

The show opens on April 14, less than a year after a three-part drama entitled Five Daughters screened on BBC1.

London Road, the Ipswich street in which Steve Wright lived, is based on material written by Alecky Blythe. It will be directed by Rufus Norris.

The cast includes Rosalie Craig, Kate Fleetwood, Nick Holder, Claire Moore, Michael Shaeffer and Paul Thornley.

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