A modern ghost story that collides with the popular detective procedural
This article is from 2016.
Criminology 303 is a ghost story with a modern twist, written by the young and promising author Rose Miller. It tells the story of retired police detective Norma Bates who has solved all but one of her murder cases, which now literally comes back to haunt her during her lecture on criminal psychology.
As Bates (the excellent Jilly Bond) is taken back to her interrogations of a Scottish laird (the superb Julian Gartside), the careful direction helps uncover prejudice, betrayal and lost love. A mere glass changing hands indicates Bates' memories blurring into one another and unearths fears about the vulnerability of human memory.
The pace and writing are strong, although at times a bit uneven – the setting scene in the amphitheatre, for instance, drags a bit too long. The acting, however, is extremely sharp and highlighted by skillful direction and efficient use of lighting (the amphitheatre in warm yellow, interrogation scenes in cold, white light).
Bond and Gartside easily turn Miller's promising writing into a powerful piece with real emotional depth. Criminology 303 might only be 30 minutes long but the cast make it gripping from the very beginning until the final, unexpected scene.
Venue 13, until 27 Aug (not 15), 9.30pm, £9 (£7).