A musical version of the Jack the Ripper story, which was performed in a music hall setting a few hundred yards from the scene of one of the actual murders in 1888.
My first play at the Half Moon was Ripper ! , an original play with songs, about Jack the Ripper, written by Terry Greer. As we were in a Victorian Synagogue on Alie Street, in the very heart of the East End, this was an appropriate production for us, given that the Ripper did his ghoulish activities in the neighbourhood in the 1880s. We were an instant smash hit, and I believe that show put us on the London Theatre Map, as both tourists and West End actors and directors made their way to Alie Street to see us. From that time on, the Half Moon Theatre was considered to be one of the Best Fringe Theatres in London!
We actors all played multiple roles in this production, each of us having one main character that we played. I played the role of the Anarchist Prince Peter Kropotkin, who was actually in London in the 1880s, giving speeches to the Anarchist community. So my ‘aria’ was a passionate speech to the audience about Anarchism. I have wonderful memories of the production, and the camaraderie of the cast members. The play was directed by Guy Sprung, one of the Founders of the Half Moon, and the theatre was turned into a cabaret, Brechtian style, with the audience bringing their pints of beer and sitting at cabaret tables.