Review: The Ted Bundy Project, Pulse Festival, New Wolsey Studio, June 4th

PULSE Festival 2015, The Ted Bundy Project

PULSE Festival 2015, The Ted Bundy Project - Credit: Archant

From the title of this play, those going to watch it had a fair idea that given its subject matter, it could be disturbing viewing.

That was the point. From the very outset, the show seemed to challenge our fascination with the darker side of life.

Greg Wohead, who wrote and performed the solo show, invited us into this gory world and rather than take us fully down that path, he stopped before we got there, at the point where we were just about to relish the details.

His curiosity about why people are interested in the likes of serial killers and snuff movies seemed to be the basis of the play, yet there was never any judgement.

While browsing the internet in 2012, Wohead tells us he discovered the confession tapes of serial killer Ted Bundy, which began his study of this infamous figure and led to the creation of the show.

We never actually got to hear the tapes, which were recorded a few years after Bundy had been on Death Row. However what Wohead did, with great accuracy, was recreate the interviews, with the same accent and intonations as Bundy. This seemed even more haunting, as then he would switch back to his narrator self and smile sweetly while dancing around the stage to 70s music.

It had elements of brilliance, where you felt on the edge of your seat, so great was the anticipation of what was to come. At times, it caught your breath, such was his ability to build momentum. But for me, it never quite reached its potential. The moments of impressive theatre were interspersed with odd scenes of enforced symbolism that didn’t quite work. Many scenes felt incomplete too.

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Almost there- but not quite the finished product for me.

Naomi Gornall