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Tom Hardy is only onscreen for a single scene in London Road – though he proves once and for all that he’s a master vocal manipulator. (Touchwood)
Tom Hardy is only onscreen for a single scene in London Road – though he proves once and for all that he’s a master vocal manipulator. (Touchwood)

REVIEW

London Road is a vibrant, almost revolutionary musical mystery Add to ...

  • Directed by Rufus Norris
  • Written by Alecky Blythe
  • Starring Olivia Colman, Clare Burt and Tom Hardy
  • Classification 14A
  • Genre mystery
  • Country U.K.
  • Language English

If you are already familiar with the National Theatre’s production of this unusual musical, then you won’t be too surprised when a bunch of humble Ipswich residents start singing – sort of – about the travails of living in the midst of a serial killer. For everyone else, this adaptation of Alecky Blythe and Adam Cork’s “verbatim musical” (based on the actual testimonies of neighbours to the 2006 “Suffolk Strangler”) may cause a few cases of cinematic whiplash. Think Sweeney Todd meets the Red Riding trilogy.

Either way, once Rufus Norris’s film gets going, it quickly reveals itself as a vibrant, almost revolutionary work. Shame, though, that Tom Hardy is only onscreen for a single scene – though his intentionally nerve-racked warbles prove once and for all that he’s a master vocal manipulator. Equally unfortunate: The fact it took more than a year for this curiosity to make its way to theatres after screening at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival.

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