Knackerman, White Bear Theatre (4-16 June)

knackerman poster lo res

White Bear Theatre Club
4 – 16 June

Press night: Thursday 6 June, 7.30pm
A new play by Rosanna Negrotti

Produced by Heidi Ali and directed by Eliot Giuralarocca

Artistic director of the White Bear Michael Kingsbury has programmed a two-week run of a new play by Rosanna Negrotti.

The White Bear Theatre Club has consistently championed new writing since 1988, and has received numerous awards including Time Out Best Fringe Venue and the Peter Brook Empty Space Award.

‘Michael Kingsbury has an uncanny gift for literary talent spotting and has tirelessly pioneered the spirit of risk-taking and innovation.’
– Tom Morris, writing in Time Out

Who killed the tart round the back of the Askew Road? Bill Wiles is a dead man, hanged in 1953 for cutting her throat. He still walks the streets of Shepherd’s Bush, desperate to clear his name. Knackerman is both a supernatural thriller and a riotous black comedy; Bill must face his demons – and a bunch of scheming misfits – to piece together the truth of his own existence, and ultimately find redemption.

Among the characters Bill encounters is John Reginald Halliday Christie (Terry Jermyn), the real-life serial killer who murdered a number of women – including his own wife – at the notorious address, 10 Rillington Place. The play brings a fascinating new insight to this well-documented sociopath, through the personal perspective of the writer’s mother and aunt. They knew Christie in the early 1950s – they worked as waitresses at a cafe in Notting Hill where he may have picked up several of his victims. Christie would come in every morning and order kippers for breakfast.

Westbourne Cafe 1950s

Caption: Rosanna Negrotti’s aunt, Ida Casali, photographed in the Westbourne Cafe on Westbourne Grove in the early 1950s. John Reginald Halliday Christie, the so-called ‘Whispering Strangler’ of 10 Rillington Place, was a regular customer.

Knackerman hails back to a time when Notting Hill and Shepherd’s Bush were slum areas. It evokes the grim, post-war world of powdered eggs and bombsites – before the district became ‘bohemian’ in the late fifties and sixties – and a far cry from Richard Curtis’s fairy-tale movie of 1999.

Terry Jermyn plays John Christie (Inherit the Wind – Old Vic, Black Milk – Royal Court; Famine – Old Red Lion); feature film W.E.); Sion Tudor Owen plays Matthias (Wild Oats – Bristol Old Vic, Carrie’s War – Richmond Theatre, Stage Fright, Canal Café Theatre; TV Dr Who, Midsomer Murders, Emmerdale); Jonathan Hansler plays Inspector Banks (Fringe Report Best Actor 2011; theatre credits The Mythmakers – Charing Cross Theatre, Goodbye: The Afterlife of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore – Leicester Square Theatre; feature films Axed, The Devil’s Business); Will Bryant plays Bill (Rope ­– Brockley Jack Theatre, Hound – Riverside Studios); Miranda Colmans plays Lily (House of Atreus – Waterloo East, A Model for Mankind – Cock Tavern), Paul Bygraves plays Jack (Good – Cockpit, Macbeth – London Theatre); Kelly Craig plays Nettie (Nightmare – The Space; Street Cries – C venues, Edinburgh Festival). The son of playwright Stanley Eveling, Tom Eveling is a former reporter for Sky Sports, and plays William Whiteley/The Librarian. T.E. Canning is a cult stand-up and comic performer, who plays Sir William Coningham under a pseudonym.

Writer: Rosanna Negrotti is a writer and editor at Apollo, the fine and decorative arts journal. She is the author of two books, William Wordsworth: A Biography with Selected Poems (Brockhampton Press, 1999) and Joyce’s Dublin (Caxton Editions, 2000).

Producer: Heidi Ali has produced a number of short films which have been screened at the BFI, the Curzon Soho and festivals worldwide, including the Oscar-nominating LA Shorts Fest. This is her first stage production.

Director: Eliot Giuralarocca’s acting credits include The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui – Liverpool Everyman/Nottingham Playhouse, Comedy of Errors and Titus Andronicus – Shakespeare’s Globe. He was nominated Best Actor at the 2012 ‘Offies’ (Off West End Theatre Awards) for The Beekeeper (Waterloo East).
Directing credits include Baroque Around the Block for Armonico Consort which is set to tour nationally this year, and Monteverdi’s Flying Circus which will also be touring to America.



4 – 16 June
Tuesday – Saturday 7.30pm
Sundays 5pm
Tickets: £14 / £10 conc

White Bear Theatre Club
138 Kennington Park Road
SE11 4DJ

Book online at or call the box office: 020 7793 9193

Twitter @whitebeartheatr

Leave a Reply