‘London Road’ is an Unusual and Underwhelming Musical Experiment

GameStop, Inc.

London Road

Not all great artistic experiments translate into a great art. London Road is a musical that is unlike any other. After years of interviews with the citizens of Ipswitch following a rash of murders in their sleepy little town, Alecky Blythe and Adam Cork used the exact words of the citizens and crafted a musical telling of their fears and renewed civic pride. On stage, London Road was a critical darling, a daring artistic gamble that paid off. Much of the stage show’s cast returns as does director Rufus Norris in the film adaptation of London Road, an ambitious but underwhelming cinematic experiment that seems as if it lost all potency in its direct transition to the big screen.

In 2006, Steve Wright (not to be confused with the comedian Stephen Wright) committed a series of killings, murdering five prostitutes in Ipswitch. The murders sent shockwaves through the quaint little town, and the years’ worth of interviews provided the basis for this experimental musical. At first, London Road is about the suspicion that spreads throughout the neighborhood. Once Wright is apprehended, it then turns into a story about the media and people’s ability to be wrapped up in sensationalized stories. Finally, it all comes to an end with a revitalization effort, a community that comes together and improves in the wake of a great tragedy.

There are some interesting thematic ideas floating about London Road, but none of them seem to rise to the forefront. First and foremost, though, London Road is a musical without a single song that’s memorable in the slightest. The fact that most of the songs come across as some kind of atonal form of characters talking over each other hinders everything that occurs in the story – it makes sense for the media segments, a cacophony of talking heads, but it doesn’t work elsewhere in the least. Nor is there a visual sense to accompany the music. The imagery is drab with much of the color desaturated and little in the way of stunning choreography.

The fact that London Road is an ensemble with so many different characters rotating in and out of the story none of its cast really gets a chance to shine. Probably the most prominent of the cast is Olivia Colman as a concerned suburbanite, worried about the influence of the town’s prostitution and grisly murders would have on her own teenage daughters. But other than that, it’s a collection of supporting characters with completely forgettable names and characteristics. Don’t let the marketing fool you into thinking that Tom Hardy plays a prominent role in London Road. Hardy appears only a couple of times in the movie and probably has all of five minutes of screen time, and that’s an incredibly generous estimate.

I’ve never seen a musical like London Road, but just because the movie is doing something different doesn’t make it particularly good. The songs are as chaotic and unfocused as the storytelling, and the stifled direction never allows the material to come to life. It’s hard not to respect the audacity of the creative team behind London Road in creating an unusual musical. The idea of London Road is much more interesting than anything on the screen, be it visually or audibly. Sometimes certain things just work better on the stage than the screen.

London Road
  • Overall Score
2

Summary

An audacious musical unlike any other, London Road has all the ambition and none of the execution in its muddled recounting of a serial killer’s reign of terror in 2006 England.

Anytime Costumes

Leave a Reply

Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
‘Almost Love’ has an 90s Indie Rom-Com-Drama Feel in 2020

Almost Love is romantic comedy about a group of friends figuring...

Faruq Tauheed Gets to the ‘Roots’ of Things

Beginning April 4, 2020, NBC will be launching their three hour...

Disneynature Dolphin Reef Will Melt Your Heart

During these troubled time and under quarantine (or self-distancing, whichever you...

Event News Event Reviews
‘A Black and White Cookie’ A Play About Racial Harmony Hits NYC

Press Release – (New York, NY) – Ego Actus Theatre Company...

Katee Sackhoff Receives Vanguard Award at SOVAS – Interview

Katee Sackhoff has become a television and voice over icon in...

Adam Rocha Celebrates the Silver Anniversary of the San Antonio Film Festival

The San Antonio Film Festival (SAFilm) is celebrating 25 years of ...

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
Marvel United Funded
Marvel United Funded – Only Hours Left to Back Marvel United

Marvel United funded in the first 31 minutes! Now you only...

Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary Available Now for PC

Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary Available Now for PC with The Master...

Marvel United
Marvel United – The First-Ever Marvel Game on Kickstarter

Marvel United, the first-ever Marvel game on Kickstarter brought to us...

Comic Creator Interviews Comic/Graphic Novel News Comic/Graphic Novel Reviews Manga News Manga Reviews Novel/Novella Author Interviews Novel/Novella News Novel/Novella Reviews
Sci-Fi Writers’ Roundtable and What We Can Learn from the Genre During These Trying Times

Sci-Fi writers Lexy Wolfe, Robert Davies, Caytlyn Brooke and Gary Morgenstein...

9/10
Batman: The Adventures Continue Chapter One – Review

Title: Batman: The Adventure Continues #01 Writers: Alan Burnett and Paul...

9/10
Shazam! 10: The Gingerbread War! Review

Title: Shazam! 10 Writer: Geoff Johns Pencils: Dale Eaglesham and Scott...

Apparel/Personal Maintenance News Apparel/Personal Maintenance Reviews Entertainment Product News Entertainment Product Reviews Food/Beverage Reviews Hardware News Hardware Reviews Mystery Box News Mystery Box Reviews
McCafé Frappé
McCafé Frappé in a Bottle is a Great Way to Start the Day

McCafé Frappé in a Bottle is the best way to start...

Consumable Gift List 2019
FBN Consumable Gift List 2019

Our Consumable Holiday Gift List 2019 – The best gift to...

LS50X Snoop Dogg Limited-Edition Headset
LucidSound Announces LS50X Snoop Dogg Limited-Edition Headset Pre-Order

LucidSound announces LS50X Snoop Dogg Limited-Edition headset pre-order opening November 19...

Automotives Football MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
LA Wildcats Fall to the Dallas Renegades in the Home Opener

Sunday, February 16, 2020 – In the second game of the...

Houston Roughnecks to Host XFL Championship Game

From the XFL – HOUSTON, February 13, 2020 – The XFL,...

Jeff Martin Opens Dream MMA School and is Set to Fight at Lights Out XF on March 13

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) veteran, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and now...

Adult Continuity Comics on the Can Cultural Junk Drawer Future Comic Rock Stars Is That Racist? Revisiting the Reviled THAT'S NOT ROTTEN! The B-Reel The Cantina Scene This Week in Crowdfunding What the HELL Did I just...?
Fantoy Comics Presents: Harry Potter and the Wizard Rumble pt: 7

Cedric is surprised at the Dark Lord's new digs.

Fantoy Comics presents: Harry Potter and the Wizarding Rumble pt:6 – stakes!

Comics on the Can: The Highwaymen Issue #4

COMICS ON THE CAN   The Highwaymen Issue #4   Writers:...

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Toon-In Talk Episode 36: Rob Paulsen

Rob Paulsen takes some time from his busy voice acting schedule...

Toon-In Talk Episode 35: Michael Dooley

Oh, dear!  I did it again!  I went on an unintended...

Episode 34: Chris Prynoski

Whitney Grace is digging through her queue of old new stock...

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
Comedy Duo Ben Giroux and Jensen Reed Take Us, ‘Back To The 80s’

Two of the funniest men in show business, Ben Giroux (Hart...

James Maslow ‘Rush’es the Stage to Perform at Super Girl Surf Pro on Sunday

James Maslow is an American singer, actor and songwriter best known as the star of...

Jason Lazarus Talks about Composing the Music for ‘Teen Titans Go! vs Teen Titans’

Jason Lazarus is a Los Angeles based composer for film, television, and...