This small-scale musical was first presented by the National Theatre Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA), Sydney, in 1977.
Set in 1889, the Sharpe Family Players are touring their famous Sharpe’s Short Shakespeares in a fit-up tent. Their latest — a ludicrously brief Richard III — flops, so young Charlie Sharpe embarks on a blood-and-guts version of the Ripper story, last year’s horror news from London. The family hire a new actor to play Jack - a pommy misfit, just off the boat! From the 1977 VARIETY review: “Divertingly original in concept and development... An uproarious blend of song and dance, gruesome comic backchat and Grand Guignol action.”
Playwright Frank Hatherley updated the script in 2005. He says: “My youthful idea was to devise a ‘fun night’ about the paranoid schizophrenic and original serial killer Jack the Ripper. It had surprising success that I attribute to achieving the type of edgy entertainment provided by semi-serious, semi-silly Horror Movies. Postmodern well before I knew of such a term, The Ripper Show is itself schizophrenic and self-regarding, with a Jekyll first act and a Hyde second act.”
CAST: (3M, 2W)