City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Jack's Story: Ripper or Not? Review

By Alex Eades - Posted on 12 August 2011

Show details
The Vault
The Actus Company
Running time: 

The Edinburgh Festival is the largest arts festival in the world. Every year the number of shows goes up and up and this year is no different. However, with so much going on, it is practically unavoidable to stumble across at least one complete and utter stinker of a performance.

I think you can see where I’m going with this.

I was always interested in Jack The Ripper from a very young age. When I was in primary school, a group of us would sneak over to the cloak room where I would pull out a Famous Killers book that I had “borrowed” from home, and we would all stare in sick fascination at the photograph of a brutalised Mary Kelly...What can I say. Kids are evil.

Many, many years later, Jack still awakens a deep fascination in me and so I was looking forward to the show this evening. It would be unlikely to reveal anything new about the identity of the killer, but anything that looks at one of the greatest murder mysteries of all time is still bound to be entertaining.



We all know the story of the mysterious man who viciously murdered five prostitutes in London in 1888. The period has been revisited by many films, probably most recently in Johnny Depp’s From Hell, of which the title makes reference to the signature on one of the letters famously sent to the police, allegedly from the killer.

Jack’s Story: Ripper or Not basically goes though the events from the perspective of the prostitutes of the time. And it is awful. Awful! Awful! Awful!

Badly structured, under-rehearsed and atrociously performed, this truly is the dark side of the Fringe. Just not in the way in which they intended. The cast are young, will no doubt learn and hopefully come back to try again, but the performances were so unbelievably bad that it was really difficult to watch. The group of prostitutes could not stimulate a performance between them (cheap pun, I know). They all need to practice their craft...a lot.

Ten minutes in and the audience began to shrink. When the end came, what audience was left just stared in disbelief before a single, slow clap cut the awkward silence and steadied the cast's trembling lips.

There was an air of sympathy for the young cast, as the blame for this tortured corpse of a show does not lie entirely on their shoulders alone. But, for the good of your sanity and your pocket, do not, under any circumstances, go and see this show.

Show times: Ends 13 August, 15:55

Ticket Prices: £6.00-7:50

Not a ripper then!

Ha! I thought about laying down that line, but couldn't bring myself to do it :-)