Ripped Pages: The Diary of Jack the Ripper
Written and directed by Roger Floyd
Performance Space Orlando
Mike R. Farad
“Vengeance is mine,” saith the Lord, but sometimes we borrow it for a while down here. Jim Maybrick wants some, as his indiscreet wife wanders off to spread her legs for another. Alone and frustrated, he finds a thrill better than getting off by himself — offing others who get in his way. Five whores bite the dust, with a pair lying there on stage for all. Dead? Sure. In hell? Yes, but not that much worse than the one they left. Maybrick’s madness rises to blood lust that comes fromsublimating the lusting thrust into the sharp steel thrust. Confession might be good for his soul, but nowhere near the fun as the bloody act. Two corpses rise wraith-like to join the debate over the existence of A Loving God and Protecting Angels while Jim cum Jack T Ripper taunts the police with bad poetry and blames death on everyone but himself. The girls have a poor sense of direction, or his wife forced him, and God didn’t say “No” when he asked, it might rain, and anyway, he enjoys it, so bugger off. It’s oh-so nineties.
Hard work under difficult conditions at paid off as a portrait of incipient madness eats the soul while death slithers across the stage. Our two semi-dead supporting actresses range from eternal stillness to self-damnation and orgy and back to the soothing numb of darkness. Jack rants, rages, pounds his knuckles bloody, and smashes up the set. It’s stream of conscience, and its a dark, scary stream you don’t want to slip into. Strong language and strong imagery compete as manhood wiltsinto nothingness. The real question here is not “How can God let this horror happen?” but “What prevents more horror without God?”