Hang on every word
This article is from 2007.
While the recent executions in Iraq shone a light, briefly, on the issue of capital punishment, there hasn’t been much public discussion of the matter since Mrs Thatcher lost her free vote on the subject in the late 80s. This, along with the relative familiarity of the infamous Ruth Ellis case, might count against Guy Masterton’s well crafted production of Ross Gurney Randall and Dave Mounfield’s play, showing interweaving monologues of the last woman hanged for murder in Britain and Albert Pierrepoint, her executioner.
What we get is a reflection on a succession of familiar themes about such matters as the distasteful celebrity-creating capacity of murder, violence (in this case against women) begetting violence and of course, the shaky morality of bureaucratising murder as punishment for murderers. There are strong performances though, with Beth Fitzgerald’s Ellis shifting deftly from fragile jocularity to hysteria admirably. Gurney Randall’s Pierrepoint, all public service efficiency, with a touch of quiet humanity is also strong. (Steve Cramer)
Assembly Rooms, 623 3030, until 27 Aug (not 13), 12.15pm, £11–£12 (£10—£11)