The Roses of Whitechapel – from Sat 20 November 2021

Sat 20 November 2021 - Sun 21 November 2021 at The Sydenham Centre
Show(s) at 8pm
Show lasts approximately 2 hours incl. interval, suitable for over-16s.

Tickets: £15 standard, £20 pay a little more, £10 pay a little less

Spontaneous Productions in association with KIRKDALE BOOKSHOP presents:

About the Show

“At last the victims of Jack the Ripper get to tell their side of the story…”

A staged reading of Jonathan Kaufman and Martin Stiff’s acclaimed play.

London’s East End, 1888. Terror is stalking Whitechapel’s streets and for the frightened women who become its victims, their lives are about to reach their gruesome end. But these women have tales to tell, as one by one, they share their histories, turning the tables on the cipher that is Jack the Ripper…

First staged to critical acclaim at the Brockley Jack Theatre in 2000 and successfully revived in 2010 at the Greenwich Playhouse and The Lion & The Unicorn Pub Theatre, Kentish Town, Jonathan Kaufman and Martin Stiff’s play celebrates its 21st birthday this year. Now Spontaneous Productions reunites several members of its original casts for a semi-staged rehearsed reading over two evenings.

“An insightful piece of work that is as much a history lesson as entertainment.” (South London Press)

Two nights only.

Covid information: We are very aware that government guidelines may change before performances are due to begin, in which case we will be following advice and may request audience members to wear face-coverings and observe reasonable social distancing measures.

The Credits

Written by JONATHAN KAUFMAN and MARTIN STIFF
Produced and directed by JONATHAN KAUFMAN
Costumes by JACKIE POULETT
Lighting and sound design by JONATHAN KAUFMAN
Music by ERIK SATIE (1888)
Graphic design JULIE BENNETT

Media Reviews and Audience Comments

  • A compelling example of innovative fringe theatre…Cleverly written and staged (Vincent Manning, Remote Goat)
  • A rewarding and rich portrayal of the way of life of five very different women…vivid performances… intensely moving moments (online review by Dave Jordan)
  • Gripping, emotional stuff…[The] climax to the performance was incredibly moving and thought provoking and gave a whole new angle on the Jack the Ripper story. All in all a fascinating new aspect on the tale. (‘Furtherwick’ Casebook Forum)
  • The play portrays the real hardships these women suffered, and for once the women, not their murderer are the centre of the story….For any Ripper enthusiast this is the play to see. (online review by Liz Evenstad)
  • ‘I thought the show was absolutely brilliant, the script and direction really made us think differently about a story we all know – I love the way you used each character to tell the story, not just as a participant but as an observer.’ (Elouise Calabria)

Book Tickets

In person: Kirkdale Bookshop – 272 Kirkdale, Sydenham SE26 4RS
By phone: (Kirkdale Bookshop) 020 8778 4701
Online: booking closes 30 minutes before start time, but tickets may still be available on the door.
More on how to book

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The Gallery


Original production photos by Ann Pownall show Annie Aldington, Sara Mason, Rebecca Livermore, Keith Chanter, Laoisha O’Callaghan and Samantha Smith

The Cast

ANNIE ALDINGTON as Annie Chapman
KEITH CHANTER as Jack
KATE BARRY as Mary Jane Kelly
KAREN POWELL as Kate Eddowes
JODYANNE RICHARDSON as Polly Nichols
SAMANTHA SMITH as Liz Stride

The Audience Reviews

What audiences have said about our previous shows:

  • “Spontaneous Productions is the National Theatre of SE26. Always surprising, always impressive, always entertaining.’ Matthew Sweet, author and broadcaster

The Sponsors