Theatre Review: Ladykiller Proves That Women Can Be Cold-Blooded Murderers Too

Ladykiller, The Vaults ★★★★☆

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Theatre Review: Ladykiller Proves That Women Can Be Cold-Blooded Murderers Too Ladykiller, The Vaults 4
Photo: Ali Wright

We spent last night with a psychopath. Wait, did you just visualise a man or a woman?

You see, this black comedy — Ladykiller — is all about misconceptions of women, and society's refusal to stomach the idea that a woman could indeed have it in her to be a sick, cold-blooded murderer.

A blood-soaked chambermaid stands beside a dead body, brandishing a sharp knife. She's screaming, pleading innocence, claiming self-defence — a familiar portrayal of a female victim. But, suddenly, a key-change, and we're treated to an hour-long crude, honest and morality-testing monologue by this now charming, stony-faced, guilt-free murderer: 'Look, I'm disgusting. And I'm going to get away with it'.

Despite being labelled a 'dark comedy', this Pleasance award-winning show at the Vaults Festival is, on balance, more 'dark' than 'comedy'. The chambermaid — played by the mesmerising Hannah McClean — stands disconcertingly close to the audience, often locking us in with her eyes. At times it feels as though we're potential victims ourselves — or worse — complicit in the murder.

If you've got a weak stomach, this show isn't for you. But if you can handle it, knock yourself out; it's blood-curdlingly great.

Ladykiller , The Vaults, Leake Street, SE1 7NN, £15, Until 3 March

Last Updated 01 March 2019