Pleasance Courtyard (Above), Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
Recipient of Pleasance's Charlie Hartill Theatre Reserve 2019, Bible John uses a real, unsolved series of murders that occurred in Glasgow at the Barrowlands Ballroom in the late 60s to interrogate the current cult of true crime and notions of victimhood. Poor Michelle (Samuel French New Play Award 2017) present a riotous, furious, joyful exploration of violence and gender, looking at one of Scotland’s darkest mysteries.
In 1969, three women were murdered by an Old Testament-quoting serial killer, nicknamed Bible John. He has never officially been caught. Now, four women bound by their obsession with true crime immerse themselves in the world of Bible John and his victims in an attempt to solve the case, restore justice for the victims and provide a conclusion to a story that has remained unfinished for fifty years.
True crime has captured the world’s imagination, as evidenced by the recent spate of documentaries and podcasts. The majority of listeners and consumers of true crime are female, despite the fact that women are more likely to be victims of serial killers, who are overwhelmingly male. Exploring the roots of this fascination, whether it comes from a desire to understand and almost solve cases or whether it’s a morbid fascination with serial killers themselves, Bible John asks why we are obsessed with someone who has acted in such an inhuman way. As more and more people find true crime compelling and engrossing, the play also explores the ethical implications of deriving entertainment from something that has the exploitation and victimisation of women at its heart.
Writer Caitlin McEwan comments, I’m so thrilled to be able to bring Bible John to Edinburgh with the generous support of The Pleasance’s Charlie Hartill Theatre Reserve. The show is an angry, riotous, and hopefully empowering look at violence and victimhood, and will strike a chord with anyone who has ever been drawn into the web of a true crime podcast. As a Scottish artist, the opportunity to be on home turf telling the story of one of the most infamous cases in Scottish criminal history is a huge honour.
The Charlie Hartill Special Reserve is The Pleasance’s designated fund to support emerging theatre-makers in bringing their work to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Now in its 15th year, the Reserve enables artists to hone their talents and focus on their creativity, by offering vital support in the form of cash investment and mentoring. Previous winners include Olivier award-winning Flesh and Bone and Freeman, nominated for the Amnesty Freedom of Express Award and two-time Offie nominee.
Wednesday 31st July – Monday 26th August (not 13th), 15:50