TIFF 2015: London Road

The residents of the rural town of Ipswitch struggle to cope with a serial killer in their midst in the stage musical adaptation London Road. In 2006, five prostitutes were found murdered in Ipswitch and the residents of London Road were interviewed about the murders and how they are dealing with the fact that someone in their community was arrested for the crimes. The transcriptions of these interviews were turned into a darkly humorous musical.

London Road began as a stage musical for the National Theatre, which was based on the real life “Suffolk Strangler.” It is not really a new thing to create a musical out of dark subject matter and admittedly some of the musical numbers were quite catchy. However, as the film wore on, I came to realize that London Road did not have much going for it as a cinematic presentation and that I might has well have gone out to see the stage production, which undoubtedly would have been a much more satisfying experience.

London Road was advertised as starring Tom Hardy, even though in actually, he only appears in the film for about five minutes as a cab driver, however it was still interesting hearing Hardy sing. The only other notable actor in the film is Olivia Colman (Broadchurch), with much of the cast being made up of relative unknowns. Altogether, London Road is little more than a stage musical performed on screen, with little added substance, making for a quite disappointing cinematic experience.



  • Friday, September 11, 12:30 PM – Bloor Hot Docs Cinema
  • Sunday, September 20, 6:00 PM – Bloor Hot Docs Cinema
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Sean Kelly Author

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).