An enjoyable morning was spent today by members and prospective members of the group, in a social setting in North Harrow discussing how Jack the Ripper was taking shape and how the group could move forward with more new members. Belmont Theatre is not just about hard work and dedication. It's also a fun place to be.
Some more excellent atmospheric black & white photos at
http://www.blueskyjunction.co.uk/?page_id=523 taken during rehearsals for Jack the Ripper by Blue Sky Junction Photography. In these pictures you can really see the concentration that rehearsals demand, captured in the faces of the cast. (NB: the show will be in Victorian costume and, of course, in colour!)
The Jack the Ripper suspect Aaron Kosminski was admitted to
Leavesden Asylum on 19 April 1894. Case notes indicate that Kosminski had been
ill since at least 1885. His insanity took the form of auditory hallucinations,
a paranoid fear of being fed by other people that drove him to pick up and eat
food dropped as litter, and a refusal to wash or bathe. He was named as a suspect by
the Chief Constable investigating the case at the time. He stated that there were strong
reasons for suspecting him, that he "had a great hatred of women, with strong homicidal
tendencies", and that he strongly resembled a police eye-witness description of the Ripper.
Kosminski, who worked as a barber after arriving in London in 1882, was never interviewed
because he was insane. Strangely, once Kosminski knew he was a suspect, the murdurs ceased.
Records showed Kosminski lived until 1919 after spending the last years of his life at
the Metropolitan Asylum for Chronic Imbeciles, at Leavesden, just north of Watford
and was buried in a nearby cemetery.
In 1920, the asylum was renamed the Leavesden Mental Hospital. The hospital, which
closed in 1997, had two cemeteries on East Lane, one remains accessible, the other
has been left to become wooded and a condition of the transfer of the land to Three Rivers District
Council required it remain in that way. Since closure in 1997, the hospital has been converted into
a private housing estate, Leavesden Court.
Seems to be our most popular show in ages so please book your tickets for the evening shows without delay.
The matinee waiting list has now started.