This week, Presentation House Theatre presents the world premiere of Kill the Ripper, on stage June 2nd to 4th. A reimaging of Jack the Ripper, told from the female perspective, by acclaimed Canadian playwright Fairlith Harvey, co-produced by “cult sensation” Geekenders and Jessie-nominated Affair of Honor, puts the power of women at the heart of this tale.
“I’m telling a true crime story through a unique perspective that I believe will resonate with other AFAB individuals like me who have been abused by a system designed to keep us down,” says Harvey. “But we’re fighting, always. Even if no one notices.”
The fight is central and literal in this female-led, darkly comic production. Kill the Ripper follows three working women (played by Nathania Bernabe, Jackie T. Hanlin, Katrina Teitz) in Whitechapel England at the height of Jack the Ripper’s infamous 1888 murder spree. As the men in power repeatedly refuse to take them seriously, Kit, Pudding, and Viola realize they must teach, arm, and protect themselves. Together they set out to become their own heroes.
“This story belongs to all of us,” say Harvey of women taking control of the narrative, “but in my heart I dedicate it to the bosses who have hit on me, the less-qualified men who met my competence with incredulity, and the predators I met in my childhood and teens.”
This new work, directed by Alice in Glitterland duo Fairlith Harvey and Phay Moores, features over-the-top fight and movement sequences by Affair of Honor, Alison Jenkins’ original score combining 19th century murder ballads and modern beats, Victoria costumes design by Joelle Wyminga, gaslit set design by Emily Dotson, and colourful lighting design by Christian Ching.
Kill the Ripper premieres June 2, 3, 4 at Presentation House Theatre, 333 Chesterfield Avenue (at 3rd Street), North Vancouver. For show details and information visit phtheatre.org. Tickets, from $30, are on sale now by phone at 604-990-3474 or online at tickets.phtheatre.org
Violence, strong language, graphic references to murder and dismemberment, non-graphic references to sexual assault.