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A review by Vanessa Bunn for EXTRA! EXTRA!





Crow Theatre present


Jack the Ripper’s London



Director – Natasha Campbell

Producer – Bertie Watkins


Meeting point: Number 1 London Bridge, the stone spike (next to Evans Cycles)


18 July - 5 Aug
Then, 30 Aug, 8 Sept, 30 Sept and 9 Nov
Times TBC


What begins as a standard walking tour winds up in the depths of London’s underground vaults and an ordinary group of curious tour-goers are transported into the darkest depths of London’s seedy underbelly in 1888. There is a dreamlike quality in the mysterious transition from guided tour to misguided opportunistic adventure. As the quest for an end to London’s most eminent and elusive murderer begins much of the dramatic tension hinges on audience interaction and building suspense. A tour guide takes the curious group on a prompt tour of the local area, embellishing dubious connections between the Ripper and the area with such panache that even sceptics are at best convinced and at least intrigued.

Following some unexpected twists in the tour, an impressively authentic experience ensues. Continuity is achieved through a sense of immersion in the community, built up as the audience mingle with stall holders and hawkers on their way to “The Ten Bells” public house for a meeting of the newly formed Whitechapel Vigilance Committee. Brazen women, in accurately detailed Victorian costume, proffer their company to bemused passers-by. In a production composed of many parts, the engagement maintained is especially impressive. Wholehearted acting and a spectacularly secret and inspired venue are largely responsible for this effect.

“The Ten Bells” is as safe a haven as one is likely to find in such a hostile and strange environment. Rowdy punters and an impromptu singsong all bring warmth to the evening, which is only chilled by the unenthusiastic response and abject countenance of Joe Barnett (Greg Baldock) and the pervading sense of danger occasioned by the lurking presence of the intangible Ripper. Joe is in love with unfortunate Mary Kelly (Harriet Dobby) and their tempestuous relationship is at the core of the drama as the ambling audience make their way through the dubious streets of Whitechapel, witnessing firsthand the panic and resentment felt by the citizens in the wake of the first Ripper murders. A sense of inevitability hangs over the company as Mary rushes out into the night following an altercation during the meeting.

For a meander around the Victorian vaults alone this production is worth a visit. An innovative use of space, a cast in which each member is distinguished and engaging and a true glimpse at the dishevelled, dilapidated London of Jack the Ripper make for a gripping evening. This is edgy, immersive theatre which also manages to be fun, it should not be missed.



Tickets: £12

Meeting point: Number 1 London Bridge, the stone spike, next to Evans Cycles


Friday 3rd August – 12pm/3pm/8pm
Saturday 4th August – 12pm/3pm/8pm
Sunday 5th August – 12pm/3pm


30 Aug, 8 Sept, 30 Sept and 9 Nov

Times TBC





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