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BWW Review: THRILL ME: THE LEOPOLD AND LOEB STORY at C Venue - C Too

BWW Review: THRILL ME:  THE LEOPOLD AND LOEB STORY at C Venue - C Too

BWW Review: THRILL ME:  THE LEOPOLD AND LOEB STORY at C Venue - C TooThrill Me: The Leopold and Loeb Story is the shocking true story of Richard Loeb and Nathan Leopold, two soon-to-be trainee lawyers who kidnap and murder a 14-year-old boy in their desire to commit the perfect crime.

Returning to the Fringe for the first time since 2014, this production reunites the original creative team, with direction by Guy Retallack and Musical Direction by Kris Rawlinson.

Thrill Me: The Leopold and Loeb story presents Loeb as an unhinged maniac and Leopold as his devoted follower. It isn't really till later in the show that we see a little more depth to their characters and it is amiss that the writer, Stephen Dolginoff, didn't explore more their incredibly high intelligence and therefore providing an explanation for their dedication to Nietzschean.

At times the story is uncomfortable to watch play out. However, it is written in a way that you are curious to discover more about their motives and developing relationship.

As a 'two-hander' musical there is a lot relying on the two young men playing Loeb and Leopold and they do not disappoint - the majority of the time they are really convincing in their respective roles. Ellis Dackombe plays the role of Richard Loeb with a confident swagger and there are genuine moments of horror in his callousness towards his crimes, in particular his idea to kidnap and murder a young boy. His singing voice is strong and he delivers the score with accomplishment.

As Nathan Leopold, Harry Downes puts in a highly impressive and rounded performance that really captures the depth of his character. It is hard to imagine that this is him in his professional debut straight from drama school. His fragility and dedication to Loeb is heart-breaking in early scenes and as the musical progresses we see a more manipulative side to his character.

Dowes captures the transitions between the younger and imprisoned Leopold with great ease, and I think we are witnessing the birth of someone with a very promising career ahead of themselves.

Helping to capture the mood of this almost gothic chamber musical is the outstanding musicianship of Kris Rawlinson and the simple yet very effective lighting design by Richard Williamson.

Thrill Me: The Leopold and Loeb Story is a dark and twisted tale that totally captured the audience - it's no wonder that many are returning to see it again. This is a very strong production that leaves its mark on you long after its over.

Thrill Me runs at C-Too Venue 4 until the 27 August.

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From This Author Matt Elliot

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