The Unlikely Candidate Review, Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool

Image Source: Royal Court Theatre

The Unlikely Candidate

Format: Play
Genre: Comedy
Writer: Francis Tucker
Cast: Liverpool Royal Court Mentoring Students
Review Date: February 20 2020
Performances: February 20 2020-February 22 2020
Location: Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool
Duration: 45 Minutes
Age Rating: 16+

From Whitechapel Liverpool to Whitechapel London, the horrendously funny production The Unlikely Candidate captivates audiences as it moves from mistress to murder! Francis Tucker surrounds this non-stop performance on the assumption that suspect James Maybrick was indeed Jack the Ripper, held within the Studio of Liverpool’s Royal Court Theatre.


As the few remaining audience members take their seats, the cast enter the studio and circulate the space. After the first song, the Master of Ceremonies scours the audience as he looks for someone to wear the distinctive top hat. Another member of the cast submits himself in trying on the hat. Once wearing, he becomes James Maybrick. The piece continues to depict the murders of the ‘canonical five’ Mary Ann Nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Edwards and Mary Jane Kelly. Towards the end, The Unlikely Candidate comes full circle as once again the MC comically looks upon reluctant audience members seeking to find a brave patron wanting to wear the top hat.


Tucker along with his creative team manage to pack exciting choreography, original rap and humorous yet dark characters all into 45 minutes. The song which opens and closes The Unlikely Candidate is fabulously catchy due to the constant rhythmic plod and even includes a reference to Liverpool favourite Bongo’s Bingo. Puppetry is one of many devices used to add wit. The stark contrast between Victorian dress and modern rap also creates intrigue. An incredibly moving song, written by Molly Madigan, is beautifully performed moments before Maybrick claims the life of his final victim.


The Unlikely Candidate is a fantastic blend of buffoonery and horseplay provides young Merseyside talent with the opportunity to experiment. This vaudeville musical is guaranteed to have you clapping along. Visit the Royal Court Studio to travel back in time to the 1800s and discover the real truth concerning Liverpool’s own ripper!


Target Audience: Age 16+
Content: Some Strong Language
Recommendation?: Yes
Overall Rating: 9/10 – Outstanding