The Makings of a Murderer, Adelphi Theatre

by Zahid Fayyaz

The Adelphi Theatre was the site of the UK-wide tour of a talk from ‘the Scottish detective,’ David Swindle. The advertising for the Back to the Future musical in the lobby made for an interesting contrast to the show that the audience was filing in for. It was a basic set for the talk, with just a desk and a bookshelf, and very few bells and whistles. Swindle mainly talks but uses some illustrations from newspaper clippings and video excerpts of murderers giving interviews, and clips of the bodies being discovered.

Whilst definitely low-tech, the show remains fascinating and informative, mainly due to Swindle being an erudite talker. The first half jumps around between different murderers, such as the Wests and the Yorkshire Ripper, whilst the second focuses more on Scottish serial killer Pete Tobin, who Swindle had helped to apprehend. In his presentation, he goes through the motivations of the killers, and how in some cases the police had failed to protect the public when they do not manage to catch the killers despite the warning signs. There are some bits of humour in between the recounting of the crimes thankfully, which work well to leaven the mood a little.

The two hours or so of the whole running time go past fast: its an interesting topic, though be warned, it can get quite grim in places when talking about the victims’ deaths. It is certainly worth catching if it comes near you on tour, though a strong stomach and nerves of steel certainly are highly recommended.

The Makings of a Murderer tours through 10 December.

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