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September 16–22, 2016

Chicago Premiere

London Road

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Film still: London Road Film still: London Road Film still: London Road


"A work of great finesse and originality"
  —Hollywood Reporter
5 stars "An exciting, unsettling experience blessed with imagination and compassion... enthralling and haunting"
  —TimeOut London
5 stars "Utterly gripping, macabre but finally very moving... London Road was a mighty success on stage. Now it is a unique triumph on the movie screen"
  —The Guardian
"It's a valuable record of a community in crisis, rendered vivid and unforgettable by literally making it sing"
  —AV Club
"It's about the undoing—and remaking—of a community in its own words, owing more to Shirley Jackson than Masterpiece Theater"
Recommended "Modest yet wildly audacious... Even with choreographed dance scenes, the air of the real hangs damply over the haunting and memorable proceedings"
  —NewCity Chicago
4 stars "London Road is a commanding, at times hypnotic experience"
  —Chicago Reader

A musical for the new millennium, London Road is a big-screen adaptation of the stage show of the same name, hailed as a remarkable, ground-breaking work during two sell-out runs at London's National Theatre.

London Road is a film oratorio, a cinema piece that does not hide its stage origins, but flaunts an artificiality and theatricality as part of its sheer audacious effect. It documents the events that shook Suffolk in 2006, when the quiet rural town of Ipswich was shattered by the discovery of the bodies of five female prostitutes and the subsequent knowledge that a serial killer was living amongst them. Screenwriter-playwright Alecky Blythe assembled the script entirely from interviews with Ipswich residents, police, media and sex workers, quoting interviewees verbatim, reproducing all their repetitions and hesitations, verbal tics and grammatical errors.

Alternately comedic, sensitive, and disturbing, this remarkable film translates a sensationalistic news story into something eloquent and operatic. Setting their words to an innovative musical score, London Road tells a moving story of ordinary people coming together during the darkest of experiences. Olivia Colman of the TV series Broadchurch stars, while Tom Hardy (Mad Max: Fury Road) offers a creepy cameo, playing a crooning cockney cab driver.

Directed by Rufus Norris, 2015, UK, 91 mins.


  • Fri., Sept. 16 at 7 & 9 pm
  • Sat., Sept. 17 at 5, 7 & 9 pm
  • Sun., Sept. 18 at 5 & 7 pm
  • Mon.–Thurs., Sept. 19–22 at 7 & 9 pm
Buy tickets


$10 general admission

$5 for Facets Members

The Facets Cinémathèque is located at 1517 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago. Call the Cinémathèque Hotline at 773.281.4114 for the latest schedule, showtimes and updates.

For all Cinémathèque inquiries, contact Charles Coleman at 773.281.9075 or

  • John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • Artworks: National Endowment for the Arts
  • Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences
  • Comer Family Foundation
  • Bloomberg Philanthropies
  • Alphawood Foundation
  • Polk Bros. Foundation