Nightswimming, the operatic, fictionalised account of the city’s supposed serial killer ‘The Pusher’ has been blamed for the rise in “morbid tourism” in and around Manchester.
The stage production is directed by Largo Spiv, who also helmed the controversial play Tower which suggested Jimmy Saville played a huge part in designing the Beetham Tower.
Nightswimming stars Coronation Street’s Gail Platt, actress Helen Worth as the dogged copper DS Hopscotch, attempting to hunt down ‘The Pusher’ played by Janette Krankie in a role theatre review magazine Stalls called: “…a fitting tribute to Roeg’s classic film Don’t Look Now…”
Praise was heaped on both leads and also for Phillip Schofield’s minor turn as Hopscotch’s grizzled, womanising boss Kurt Bombay. Musical number When I Find You is expected to reap song writing awards with such lines as: I’ll catch you / You’re going down / In Strangeways / They’ll be no one to drown.
Set designer Shirley Buffoon also received special mention for her outstanding papier mache rendering of Deansgate Locks; although her use of child dancers dressed in blue leotards playing the water had raised some eyebrows.
But is a musical about the serial killer a step too far?
“London has Jack the Ripper, we have ‘The Pusher’…”
“This obsession with a serial killer stalking Manchester needs to stop,” said GMP spokesperson Flannery Hindenburg. “The police are now receiving 20% more calls from armchair detectives. The canal is a safe place if you’re careful when you’re drunk and you leave geese alone. We don’t need people trying to profit from this scaremongering.”
Profiting is exactly what people are doing, though. Prolific doctors of psychology and criminology have started offering lectures on the subject of serial killers. Yokel McStooge, who offers jet-ski tours of Manchester’s canals, said: “London have Jack the Ripper, we have The Pusher, it’s as simple as that, and I’ll expect Liverpool to jump on the bandwagon soon enough.”
Even restaurants in the city have begun incorporating ‘The Pusher’ into food. Spinningfields burger house The Minced Calf offer a three tier burger called ‘the lung buster’ which has to be eaten in between bouts of waterboarding.
But it also has an opposite effect on the city after Salford open water swimming club disbanded because swimmers began to suspect each other of being ‘The Pusher’ and Robbie Coltrane closed his Twitter account after Mancunians believing him to be ‘Fitz’ from 90’s TV show Cracker bombarded him with tweets for help on catching the supposed killer.
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