THRILL ME

1 Sep

THRILL ME
THE LEOPOLD AND LOEB MUSICAL
Book Music and Lyrics by Stephen Dolginoff
The musical is based on the story of the Thrill Killers, Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb. Two handsome young men still in their teens, were both studying law. Richard became excited by the works of Friedrich Nietzsche and began to believe he, himself, was Superman, beyond the law and able to commit crimes without anyone ever suspecting. Nathan who was possessed of an obsessive love for him, agreed to sign a contract to be his partner in crime.
Their story begins with Nathan Leopold still in prison after 34 years, telling the story to the parole board. He reveals his love and sexual passion for Richard, who needs the thrill of crime to accept Nathan’s lovemaking. Richard is unable to get aroused without the excitement of breaking the law in obvious ways without ever being found out.
Nobody knew that they were responsible for the great fire in a warehouse and lots of missing precious goods that the boys, having done the robberies, just threw away. But they were nice middle-class boys and no one could ever suspect them.
Inevitably their success in fooling the law gave Richard the idea that they should commit the final crime, The perfect murder. They chose as their victim a young child and organised a false kidnap to make the crime convincing
I first saw this musical at Greenwich a few years ago and found it impressive and strangely beautiful. This time, within the intimacy of the Arcola it is even more fascinating. These characters are completely impossible to sympathise, but both are attractive and the music is strangely heatrending. It is like looking at an ugly painting and finding it beautiful.
The two young men are both handsome. Ellis Dackombe as the irresistible and cruel Richard is dashing and his appeal is understandable. Harry Downes as Nathan has the voice of an angel. It is not surprising that they got away with so many crimes – so many indeed until the very last one. Nathan had a loving father – also a judge -who would have saved him when he told the full story, but Nathan, even if it meant hanging did not want to be separated from his lover, and if not to be hanged, would settle for sharing a cell with him for the rest of their lives.
This is a musical based on a true horror story, the music is sublime and the performances could not be equalled.

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