It’s not often you have the chance to hear the point of view of a murderer as he awaits hanging for killing six people and disposing of their bodies in an acid bath.
The Lowry give you the chance in their presentation of In Conversation with an Acid Bath murderer, written and performed by Nigel Fairs, whose great-grandfather, in 1949, put the shackles on real life killer, John George Haigh.
Haigh was, undoubtedly, a psychopath and it is rumoured that he drank his victims’ blood.Poetic licence it may be but Fairs does so in his play with an unnerving relish. Despite an apparent friendliness, his eyes fixate on you instilling fear.This is how the actor skilfully makes you face up to an inhuman monster. His words, some of which are taken from those of Haigh at his actual trial, are disturbing, too.
Suzanne Proctor plays two of his gullible women victims and his naive girlfriend, Margaret who survives despite almost being pushed off Beachy Head. She portrays her well especially when she says goodbye to him in his cell.
It is Haigh’s lack of remorse that is the most chilling feature made more so by haunting music, also composed by Nigel Fairs. He gives away clues that make you wonder if Haigh’s strict religious upbringing has influenced his behaviour but his motivation is difficult to fathom. His immortality comes from Madam Tussauds.
- Julai Taylor