The Killing Show was born out of Rachaels interest in real life crime magazines, and inspired by an amazing exhibition, The Dead, at the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television. The show was conceived and initially worked on by Rachael and Robert; Alex came on board as a director and producer later, once With The Light On was completed.
The show was exciting and challenging to make. The images of the women portrayed in the photographic exhibition were deliberately disturbing and violent. They were displayed in a disused industrial unit. It was cold, there was no light, it was very dusty and very hard to hang the pictures. The whole thing was explored with torchlight. We worked with composer Laurence Oakley, to create a sound track that was very low and bass-y to try and unnerve people a little.
Once the audience had explored the exhibition they were led downstairs, through unfinished corridors to a different part of the building, where we had built a polythene room, with one wall being a projection screen. There was only seating for twenty audience members. It was a pretty tight squeeze. After the performance the audience were put out onto a different street to the one they arrived by.
The show itself was a one-woman performance, created sectionally using several different personas. Mary Trounson was the central character holding it all together, carrying through the narrative of a young woman who was murdered in the 1950s. When alive she was a nobody, just an ordinary girl working in a tea shop, but now in the 90s she is suddenly famous, elevated in the media, a cover girl. But we also see a posthumous interview with the police, a lecture about the injuries sustained in strangulation and Marys death replayed through the drinking of a pint of stage blood.
Looking back on the show, it does seem to us very violent against women - although of course thats what it was dealing with. Its not a piece that we would make now, but we are proud of it and its one of the few shows we have talked about restaging, as so few people got to see it, but that, proportionately, so many people ask us about. It would be an interesting challenge to rework the text and the ending of the performance, and to really interrogate the visual imagery.