Given the nature of the show and its subject matter, The Quality of Mercy is an ‘understated’ affair. However, this is not a criticism or back-handed compliment. Quite the opposite. Flay has distilled all the facts and the myriad of opinions on the matter and created a deftly-fashioned show that lifts the layers off Shipman’s cognitive reasoning and treats the victims with the utmost respect.
Theatre doesn’t get much more personal than this. The Quality of Mercy is the story of serial killer Harold Shipman, written and performed by Edwin Flay – a patient of Shipman’s as a child, and the grandson of Renee Lacey, who died at the Hyde GP’s hands when she was just 63 years old. Set in his cell on the night Shipman will take his own life, the play sees him recording a final tape, looking back on his life and crimes, and attempting to justify his motivation for ending so many innocent lives.
The Quality of Mercy, a new one-man play about notorious British serial killer Harold Shipman, premieres at London’s Courtyard Theatre this month. Taking a break from rehearsals, writer and performer Edwin Flay told us more about his very personal family connection to Shipman’s crimes.
A new one-man play about notorious British serial killer Harold Shipman, written by a former patient and relative of one of his victims, receives its world premiere this month in London. Time to get booking!