You All Know Me – I’m Jack Ruby!
Killer portrait of Lee Harvey Oswald-murderer from writer-performer Clifford Barry
This article is from 2013.
Do we really know the man who shot the man who shot President Kennedy? Was the eponymous Dallas nightclub-owner part of a Mafia-organised plot to whack Lee Harvey Oswald, as history generally credits him to be, or was Ruby acting under other impulses?
This cleverly conceived and smartly executed one-man show proposes an answer to the second question that suggests history has done Ruby a disservice. The portrait presented – sleazy, violent, uneducated, emotionally unstable – certainly doesn’t show him in a flattering light. But it is rounded enough to also reveal him as principled, loyal, foolish and unlucky. The result is a pleasingly complex dramatic study that’s in turn funny, abhorrent and poignant.
Writer-performer Clifford Barry’s portrayal of Ruby is absolutely terrific. Barry’s short, stocky build, and bullish voice convince on a physical level, and contrast effectively with the quieter, more emotional moments Ruby experiences. By being as much about the man as the conspiracy theories, the show both provokes and engages.
theSpace @ Surgeon’s Hall, 510 2384, until 24 Aug (not 11, 18), 2pm, £7 (£6).