Morbid, Curious…Dominic Stevenson on The Ted Bundy Project

culture magazine

Roland Mouret

Apparently people have a morbid fascination, and maybe we do, but I’m not sure whether having a morbid fascination means that we want to watch a man in tennis shorts describe rape, murder, necrophilia.

I also don’t think it means we want to receive tips on where to find the best mutilation on the internet.

I went to Shoreditch Town Hall on the night of the General Election to see the Ted Bundy Project, a solo show about performer Greg Wohead’s relationship to Ted Bundy, one of the world’s most notorious serial killers. The result of the General Election was not the most traumatic thing I saw on May 7.

Bundy confessed to having murdered at least 30 young women between 1974 and 1978, Wohead just confessed to having listened to them before watching someone get murdered with an ice-pick.

I was optimistic when the show started that it could be a piece of genius. Wohead pulls off creepy with a skill even Nigel Farage would admire, and as he began to disco dance in his white tennis shorts the audience thought he may be onto something. Minutes in though, the show became repetitive and instead of channelling the inner curiosity of the audience, it just seemed to descend into quite bad taste.

I’m absolutely sure that I’d love a performer like Wohead in another show. He has charisma, and he is so likeable, but I suppose that’s why he chose to depict Bundy, who was notorious for being a charmer.

In a world where ISIS put videos of people in cages being burnt alive, I don’t think we need a retelling of a murder confession to bring our morbid curiosity to the fore. The show wasn’t any more graphic than most articles in The S*n so I’m not exactly sure why it’s needed. I remember being sat in a pub beer garden and seeing someone cry after they watched the beheading of Ken Bigley on the internet.

One can’t deny the cultural value of delving into such extraordinary cases as Bundy’s. But the question of whether it should be made into entertainment lingered with me long into the night.

The Ted Bundy Project

The Ovalhouse

Tue 17 Jun – Sat 21 Jun, 7:30pm

Adult themes and content, recommended for ages 16+

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