This evening I had the immense privilege and pleasure of seeing a review performance (the premiere is on 14 April) of London Road by my friend, Alecky Blythe, and composer Adam Cork, at the National Theatre. Walking across Waterloo Bridge I was thrilled and proud to see Alecky’s name literally ‘up in lights’. London Road, four years in the making, is an account of how a close-knit community, in London Road, Ipswich, reacted to the murders of five prostitutes and the subsequent discovery of the murderer in their midst. Alecky uses a technique, verbatim, that obliges the actors to reproduce real speech, recorded and edited. The innovations of London Road are that the actors have memorised this authentic language (no headphones, therefore) and Adam Cork has brilliantly caught the cadences of their language and set them to music. The result is poignant, humourous, at times chilling but never condescending and, thanks also to a brilliant cast and excellent direction, great entertainment. The relative intimacy of the Cottesloe adds further to the atmospherics. If you get a chance, please go and see this! For me, it was the perfect end to a day full of reflections about such matters as authenticity in dialogue in fiction. When we talk about written dialogue being ‘realistic’, we know full well that it isn’t real. In real speech people don’t finish their sentences; they trip over their words, hesitate, stutter, use the wrong word. Through her technique Alecky catches all of that. Thanks to Adam Cork’s music, though, we are not far away from Steve Reich’s Different Trains. I am fascinated by the way these different art forms are creeping ever closer together.  Stop press (added later)! There is a G2 review here: