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Review: The Ted Bundy Project at the Ovalhouse Theatre

I really wanted to like Greg Wohead's self-penned and performed The Ted Bundy Project. It's got a fascinating source material: the confession tapes of a serial killer, rapist and necrophiliac.

All I know of Ted Bundy is what is in the trailer (below) and I'm not sure I came away with a great deal more information which would be fine if there had been something else more substantial to the piece. I wasn't particularly shocked or surprised, I didn't feel like my perceptions had been challenged. I learnt that some people look at really gross stuff on the internet and film their reactions. We got to see one of the so called reaction videos, several times over.

There were some odd interludes one involving pulling a man out of the audience and making him stand with a pair of tights on his head while Wohead dresses up as one of Ted Bundy's victims and dances slightly flirtatiously in front of him for an awkwardly long time.

At one point Wohead sits in the audience and re-watches the reaction video with us.

The narrative is told via Wohead's own reactions to listening to the confession tapes. Presumably his mild-mannered, smiley performance is supposed to mimic the charms Ted Bundy used to dupe his victims. He points out a lot of things we don't know about the particular murder Bundy confesses to on the tape but questions are of the ilk: "We don't know what was going through Ted Bundy's mind when he put his penis in her vagina". He then performs segments of the confession tape as Bundy.

Much of his performance style almost serves to normalise the topic, perhaps this is Wohead's intent?

There is a second story of a boy at summer camp and murderous feelings he has towards a girl when she cuts in front of him in a queue. Maybe I missed something but I wasn't sure if that was supposed to be at story of Ted's or not.

I'm not even sure why Wohead was wearing white tennis style sports gear or why he had the confession tape in an old Walkman and kept the headphones on for most of the time.

The piece feels laboured but to no real purpose and ultimately I left with a mild feeling of frustration for not having been challenged more when I thought the subject matter warranted it.

I've subsequently been doing so research of my own into Ted Bundy, there is a wealth of material there which makes this production all the more disappointing.

The Ted Bundy Project is 60 minutes long and runs at the Ovalhouse Theatre until June 21.