The life story of Jack Unterweger – an Austrian serial killer who strangled prostitutes with their bras and became a cause célèbre after writing poetry in prison – has been compared to those of Josef Fritzl and Jack the Ripper.
Now, the Barbican Centre’s artistic director, Graham Sheffield, has called Unterweger’s life story an apt tale for modern times. The Barbican Hall is set to stage his story as a theatrical concert put to music against a baroque orchestra and two sopranos. The actor John Malkovich takes the lead role, though he does not have a singing part.
The Infernal Comedy: Confessions of a Serial Killer, to be staged next June, was first performed in 2008 in Santa Monica, California, where it received rave reviews. Nick Kenyon, the manager director of the Barbican, described it as a “21st century melodrama”. Mr Sheffield said the story bore echoes of serial killers in the news recently, including the case of the father from Lincolnshire (dubbed the British Fritzl) who repeatedly raped his two daughters. “It [the concert] has a curious similarity to the Fritzl case but it was not inspired by it,” he said.