For many of us, there is deep fascination with trying to understand those who commit shocking and horrifying crimes. None inspire such revulsion as the Moors Murderer, the Yorkshire Ripper and a necrophiliac slayer of young men.
Based on actual letters written by Peter Sutcliffe, Ian Brady and Dennis Nilsen, Taggart-creator Glenn Chandler has created a truly chilling piece of theatre. It explores the human psyche - not only that of these obviously insane men, but also those in society who feel a connection so strongly they choose to engage in pen friendships with them.
Edward Croy as Brady delivers a performance of total conviction. He fully portrays man who has gone beyond the boundaries of madness and wants nothing more than to starve himself to death in order to take what secrets he has to the grave with him.
Gareth Morrison as Sutcliffe sniffs each and every letter he opens, ramming home the point that this is a man who clearly has no respect for woman other than sexual desire - and the gratification of being able to end their lives in the most horrible of ways. Morrison presents an icy rendition of what abject evil is and how it manifests itself in a human being.
Finally Arron Usher as Nilsen gives the most chilling performance as he explodes with anger at what Nilsen believes to be the unjust nature of his imprisonment. The way he literally shakes with rage then just as rapidly composes himself is a sight to behold.
With understated direction from Liam Rudden, a simple setting and ever-increasing tension this is a true tour de force of challenging and totally engaging theatre. All three actors shine in roles which, whilst controversial, need to be told in order to accept why these three men continue to be locked away for the safety of society.
Leaving the theatre after seeing this play, the audience were almost stunned into silence at what they had just witnessed. You can’t help but question why would anybody write to these three inhuman monsters? This is a play which grips from the outset and never lets go.
Check out Killers to understand what real powerhouse theatre is all about this Fringe. Unmissable.