Following a sell-out UK premiere, Stephen Dolginoff’s multi-award winning musical, Thrill Me, transfers to the Charing Cross Theatre next month.
Based on the shocking true story of infamous thrill killers Leopold & Loeb: Chicago, 1924. Two wealthy college kids and a contract signed in blood. One is obsessed with crime, the other with love. Thrill Me: The Leopold & Loeb Story dramatises the series of events that led law students Leopold and Loeb to be forever remembered as ‘the thrill killers’. The show focuses on their obsessive relationship, which exploded into violence, and utilises Leopold’s 1958 parole hearing as a framework.
The case attracted global attention at the time due to the nature of their crimes and the duo being young, well educated and wealthy. They narrowly escaped the death penalty thanks to the arguments of lawyer, Clarence Darrow. The true events were also the basis for Never the Sinner, Compulsion, Swoon and were the inspiration for Patrick Hamilton’s Rope later made into the famous film thriller by Alfred Hitchcock.
The cast is George Maguire as Richard Loeb and Jye Frasca as Nathan Leopold. Frasca was the original Joe Pesci in Jersey Boys and regularly played Frankie Valli in the show (West End). His other credits include: Wicked, Mary Poppins (both West End) and Trevor Nunn’s Love’s Labour’s Lost and Anything Goes (National Theatre). George Maguire’s West End credits include Oliver and Fame.
Dolginoff’s Thrill Me won an ASCAP Music Award (New York 2005) and was nominated for the Drama Desk Award for Best Musical and Best Music Score and for an Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Musical. The show has since been produced elsewhere in America and around the world.
Director Guy Retallack’s work for the stage includes The Secret Rapture (Lyric); Drowning On Dry Land (Jermyn Street Theatre); Liberty (Shakespeare’s Globe and National Tour); Faster (Filter Theatre at the Lyric Hammersmith and 59E59 Street Theater New York) and Future Me (London season and two national tours). Musical Direction by David Keefe, design by James Turner, lighting by Richard Williamson. Voice-overs by Les Dennis, Patricia Quinn and Lee Mead.
Press response from the UK Premiere of this production at the Tristan Bates Theatre included:
‘There is no production currently running in the capital that is more intelligent,
atmospheric and haunting than this.’ Sunday Telegraph *****
‘Thrill Me is thrilling indeed.’ The Evening Standard ****
‘Sharp and witty, full of strong songs and clever twists.’ Whatsonstage.com ****
Release issued by: Kate Gambrell