Rehearsals have begun for the next round of Mrs. Hawking production! And that means we’ve begun work on the debut of our brand-new show, Mrs. Hawking VI: Fallen Women! In the lead up to that, I’d thought I’d share cool things about our intense next story.
At long last, we’re tackling a subject I’d be dreaming of for years now— our heroes taking on the case of Jack the Ripper. Not only one of the most famous pieces of Victorian history there is, he’s to this day one of the most notorious serial killers ever, made all the more so because his identity was never discovered to any degree of certainty.
The case is ideally suited to a Mrs. Hawking story. Shrouded in mystery, it gives us good opportunity to fit our characters into the points upon which history is less clear. And since the victims were some of the poorest, most societally disenfranchised women in London, they are exactly the sort of people that the system would fail to protect, making Mrs. Hawking their only hope. As one of our new characters, London nurse Violet Strallan says, “What’s that they say of you? You help folks who ain’t got nobody else. Well, let me tell you— there’s nobody more friendless than us.”
Designing a show around a historical murder case was no easy feat. Fellow writer Bernie Gabin and I decided that where there was good sound research on the facts, we would honor and incorporate the historical record as it existed. Only where the answers were unknown, or at least where there was reasonable debate among experts, we allowed ourselves to make up the information as was most useful and dramatic for the story. That meant we had a lot less flexibility to design plot elements than we usually do, which often made for a real challenge. But we thought that turning the case into a complete fantasy would rob it of emotional weight, so were diligent about our research, and scrupulous when it came to using it.
But we believe we’ve come up with a cool interpretation of the story— one that perhaps places the emphasis on ideas you don’t usually see in Jack the Ripper stories. We hope you find our vision of it compelling. If you want to know just how we’ve interpreted this monster and his murders, you’ll have to come see us debut at Arisia 2020 this January!