Review: The Ted Bundy Project delves into the grotesque at Bristol Old Vic

4-stars23rd June 2015


Image: Alex Brenner

Greg Wohead’s solo show The Ted Bundy Project returns to Bristol Old Vic following an appearance at 2014’s Mayfest and a subsequent touring programme. Taking as its inspiration a selection of confessional recordings of Bundy which Wohead found on Youtube, it is billed with the promise of “extreme images and graphic, violent subject matter.”

‘Promise’ is the word, as the show is more than an exploration of the infamous serial killer’s crimes, and instead delves into the human fascination with horror and gore and tales of intense nastiness. From snuff films to Two Girls One Cup, there is a wealth of material out there with sinister content, and the internet – and video sharing sites such as Youtube and the more niche Best Gore – has only made such material more readily accessible.

This morbid fascination is the reason why the audience hears of the grotesque nature of the acts that Bundy carried out. Wohead toes the line between attraction and repulsion, using the very same charm that the “really nice guy” Bundy used to lure in his victims to lure in the audience. With only a few dozen seats erected in the Studio theatre, this is an intimate insight into the mind of a killer. 

Juxtaposing creepy monologues with innocent bubblegum pop and coquettish dancing, this is an assured performance by Wohead, and he manages to keep the audience in thrall throughout. It is clear to see why he has had such success with The Ted Bundy Project, and perhaps the most interesting question that emerges is who in the audience wished for less detail, and who craved more.

Conal Dougan