Thrill Me – The Leopold and Loeb Story – Edinburgh Festival Fringe – C too

Thrill Me – The Leopold and Loeb Story continues at C too until 27 August (the show transfers to London’s Arcola Theatre as part of the Grimeborn Festival from 29 August to 2 September).

Star rating: five stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

This was such a hit at the -1 stage of C Chambers Street a couple of years ago. It has to be said that this new home near the castle suits the piece so much more. The tension is palpable from the outset – you can literally feel audience members hold their breath and every gasp at twists in this superbly scripted piece.

The two-hander is the professional debut for both of these actors. Harry Downes is utterly convincing as Nathan Leopold, both as the young idealist with a penchant for a bit of self denial, and the older prisoner making yet another bid for parole.

Richard Loeb is played by Ellis Dackombe – the golden boy accustomed to getting his way, no matter the cost to anyone else.

Both young men play with the perfect amount of intensity as these spoilt young men of Chicago, living their lives on their own terms and seeking the thrills they crave together.

And, oh my Lord, the singing – simply spine-tingling.

The story is all the more absorbing as it is based on the true tale of a couple of wealthy, well-educated and respectable young men who set fires and even murdered in cold blood for the thrill of it.

The scene where a warehouse is burned is an intense highlight both to see and to hear. As the flames work, Richard becomes both aroused and calm as Nathan enjoys his reward for his endeavour in creating the incident.

The chemistry between these characters is perfect and I would be very surprised if these young actors didn’t gather quite a following.

The look, the design and sound of this production are of the highest order. Be thrilled. Go and see…

Fiona Orr

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