- Katharine Gemmell
- 6 August 2019
This article is from 2019
Laudable attempt to critique the modern fascination with true crime
In recent decades, interest in the true crime genre has surged, with series like Making a Murderer and Serial expanding the medium at a dizzying rate. In Poor Michelle's new work Bible John, the ethical implications of the genre are prodded and society's morbid curiosity cross-examined.
Four women (Caitlin McEwan, Ella McLeod, Laurie Ogden and Lauren Santana), who seemingly have nothing in common, discover that they share a mutual fascination with true crime. When they collectively listen to a new podcast about a Bible-quoting serial killer in 60s Glasgow – the women become hooked. As they enter into the rabbit hole of the Bible John case, they pour over and dissect the evidence, becoming obsessed with the grizzly details.
The resolution comes when the women realise that the highly speculative nature of the genre is disrespectful to the victims and that there are moral implications at work as the genre has violence against women at its core.
The structure sometimes feels rather muddy and ideas touched on, although showing potential, are not fully realised. There's also a feeling that they're touting this case as niche, but since the case is one of the most renowned in Scotland, the big twist (that the case is a cold one) becomes anti-climatic. At its heart, though, the piece is a laudable attempt to critique a very modern compulsion.
Pleasance Courtyard, until 26 Aug (not 13), 3.50pm, £12 (£11).