Intelligent, wealthy Chicago law students Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb, no longer entertained by the rush of petty crimes done for fun, planned and executed in 1924 what they thought was ‘perfect crime,’ the murder of 14-year-old Bobby Franks.
Later caught, and narrowly missing the hangman’s noose thanks to their hotshot lawyer Clarence Darrow – the story of the ‘thrill killers’ has shocked and fascinated people for decades and is told fabulously in Thrill Me: The Leopold and Loeb.
Having a slight fascination with the dark and macabre, not only was I excited to be invited to see this show, but I also confess to researching the heck out of the true story before going along. I was surprised, unlike other movies or shows of a similar vein, how closely this show stuck mostly to the facts, whilst also at the same time keeping the audience entertained and completely drawn into the whole proceedings.
The set was simple, but dark and reminiscent of a dark, 1920’s prohibition Chicago, and though there was only a cast of two, the story moved at a fast pace – jumping from the 1958 parole hearing of Nathan Leopold , to key flashbacks along the way, unfolding the story in a succinct, but enthralling fashion.
Rumored to be lovers, the chemistry between Leopold (Vincent Hooper) and Loeb (Stephen Madsen) was incredible and the stark character contrast between a haughty, superior Loeb and an almost worshipful Leopold rounded out a fantastic show, an enthralling storyline, simple but creative musical interludes and an all-round fabulous evening.
Thrill Me is running at Chapel off Chapel through to 31 January as part of Midsumma Festival. For more details check out the website here: midsumma.org.au