With little more than a bedside lamp, a leather armchair and a helpful cadaver, The Thelmas have brought to life a deliciously morbid monologue that will please fans of Fleabag, Making a Murderer and everything in between.
A smash hit at this Fringe and beyond.
Being caught quite literally red-handed is always a tough one to explain away, and it is with a hair-curling scream and breathless panic that our show opens at the scene of the crime. Hannah McClean stars as the nameless, blood-soaked maid on a violent quest for vindication who leads this one-woman show – well, two women, if you count the dead body on the floor. Oscillating between the victim and the mastermind at blistering speed, McClean walks a balance between wide-eyed innocence and bitter cynicism as she systematically exposes the hypocrisy of a system that doesn’t believe women are capable of what is, quite literally, in front of our eyes. At points shaking with barely contained anger, it’s an unnervingly persuasive argument (and I’m not just saying that because she has a knife in her hand).
A fantastic delivery, however, is nothing without a solid script. Devastatingly funny and bleakly accurate, writer Madeline Gould has painted an exact caricature of the over-worked, under-valued and consequently homicidal member of housekeeping staff which anyone who has ever worked in customer services will be able to relate to more than they care to admit. McClean’s unflinching eye contact, casual asides and direct questions make us all complicit in the crime: at first it felt felt like a flirtation with the fourth wall, but as the hour went on began to morph into an indicator of the character’s psychosis. This is just one example of the unsettling ambiguity that continued to keep us guessing – a reminder that psychopaths can wear pretty dresses, too.
Ladykiller is an unpacking of the destructive, impulsive part of our psyche that we all try not to make direct eye contact with: you know the part that I’m talking about. It is as devilishly dark as they come, and the entire creative team should be proud of themselves for creating a tightly run and even more tightly-wound original black comedy that is set to be a smash hit at this Fringe and beyond.