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Preview: The Ripper’s 5 – haunting the truth of the Whitechapel murders

Published 15 September 2010

The Whitechapel murders are in the heart of every Londoners’ curiosity. The identity of the so-called Jack The Ripper was never solved yet many theories have sprung up in the intervening decades. The mystery has been portrayed on various movies and theatres alike – the emphasis always on the brutal murders.

Skint Production, a Manchester-base company, has taken the challenge to tell a new story and created a musical. The Ripper’s 5 is due to debut  at the fringe Theatro Technis theatre on 21st September.

The story begins five years after the serial killings. A young man is obsessed to unveil the truth about who he was and why he killed those women, so he brings them back from the dead. Haunting songs convey the thrill of this gothic Victorian drama.

Written by Karlton Paris and Louisa Jay, the musical mixes historical facts with fiction. The plot centres around the quest to discover the killer’s identity, but it really is “about the human cast behind the tragedy of the ripper and the legend,” Paris explained.

The cast was hand-selected. The show producers wanted actors and actresses who could bear a resemblance to the character they play – a hint of the production’s commitment to factual accuracy.

Katherine Mount plays Elizabeth Stride, one of The Ripper’s victims in the infamous double-crime night. She said: “We all did a lot of research trying to recreate these real characters. It was quite shocking when we found photographs and autopsies reports, so we actually took many details from there.”

Also in The Ripper’s 5 is “Lizzie Stride”, who has the leading role. Paris told how he was fascinated by her because “she came from Sweden and in a way, she depicts what happened to all these women who were forced to prostitution by their own misfortune”.

The male leading role isn’t Jack The Ripper but Edgar, a fictional character played by Riku Rokkanen. He explained: “Something has happened to my character that made him become obsessed by the case. He leads the group of characters to find out the truth.”

Described as a musical drama with deep, emotional edges – and even supernatural forces – The Ripper’s 5 is calling to a broad range of audiences but it might be a delight for gothic style lovers and Victorian fans. Those appealed by a pop-corn sort of show better stay away – otherwise, it’s a musical for you.

Theatro Technis
Show Dates: 21st September to 16th October
Show Times: Tuesday – Saturday 7:30 pm, matinees on Tuesday & Sunday 2:30pm
Tickets: £15 (full price), £12 (concessions)
Box Office number: 020 7387 6617
Official Website: www.therippers5.com