Saucy Jack: neither saucy nor sinister

Saucy Jack

A performance billing itself as a defence of the actions of Jack the Ripper as presented by the infamous murderer himself certainly sounds full of potential – unfortunately, it falls woefully flat. In tethersend's production of Saucy Jack, Doug McLauchlan dons cape and top hat to lead the audience through a visceral recounting of the notorious murders, but he does so with the sleepy, academic detachment of a high school history professor. There is nothing neither saucy nor sinister to his performance, and at times his slurry delivery becomes downright unintelligible.

McLaughlan staggers in and out of a narrative voice by alternately acting as Jack and speaking of the man in the third person, urging the audience to consider that the Whitechapel murderer was just misunderstood. Unfortunately the bulk of his argument is to point out arguably greater sins of the modern age such as genocide and war crimes, which are meant to dwarf the murder of five prostitutes. It isn’t until the final five minutes that McLaughlan offers anything compelling, in either argument or emotion. Sadly this constitutes your quintessential ‘too little, too late’ scenario.

Saucy Jack continues until July 11th as part of the Toronto Fringe Festival. For more information check out the Fringe website.

By Ryan West