Bible John

Theatre (new writing, drama)

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  • Pleasance Courtyard - Pleasance Above
  • 15:50
  • Aug 26
  • 1 hour
  • Suitability: 14+ (Guideline)
  • Country: United Kingdom - England
  • Group: Bible John and the Pleasance
  • Warnings and additional info: This show contains distressing themes and strong language.
  • Accessibility:
    Audio enhancement system
    Relaxed Performance
    May not apply to all performances. You'll find more information about accessibile performances and how to book tickets in the accessibility tab below.
  • Babes in arms policy: Babies do not require a ticket
  • Policy applies to: Children under 2 years


1969 at the Barrowlands Ballroom in Glasgow, three women are murdered by an Old Testament-quoting serial killer, nicknamed Bible John. He's never been caught. 2019, four women bound by their obsession with true crime want to change that. Immersing themselves in the world of Bible John and his victims, they try to solve the case, once and for all. A riotous, furious, joyful exploration of violence, gender and one of Scotland's darkest mysteries. Samuel French New Play Award 2017. **** (Scotsman). **** (Stage). Presented by Bible John Play and The Pleasance. 2019 Charlie Hartill Special Reserve Fund recipient.

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General venue access

  • Audio enhancement system
    Relaxed Performance
  • Accessible entry: Main queue on road outside. Lift access through Pleasance Bar — ask at Box Office or bar for assistance.
  • Wheelchair access type: Building Lift

  • Stairs: 11- 20
    Number of stairs is provided as guidance and is not in addition to any wheelchair access type (lift/ramp etc) stated above.

Each venue can contain several space with different accessibly information. Visit the venue page for full venue accessibility info

Captioned performances

  • Dates: 20 August
  • Type: Open
  • Booking options: You can book independently online, or contact our access team to book your tickets and request any specific seating locations or if booking a unit is required.

Relaxed performances

  • Dates: 12 August
  • Booking options: You can book independently online, or contact our access team for more information or to discuss any accessibility requirements.
  • Character Introduction Details
  • Additional information: Information not supplied

Be aware that this show features:

  • Permission to move around and make noise

Show does not feature:

  • Total Audience Black Out
  • Flashing Lights/Strobed Lighting
  • Loud/repetitive/high pitched/unexpected or overlapping sound
  • Distinctive smells
  • Special effects (e.g. smoke/bubbles/pyrotechnics)
  • Latex balloons
  • Characters expressing anger
  • Heavily dialogue-driven scenes
  • Audience required to walk around
  • Audience required to undertake directed movement
  • Audience required to sing/speak along with/for performer
  • Audience invited on stage
  • Performer goes into audience area
  • An intermission
  • Audience chill out area
  • Permission to engage with performer
  • Show guide or synopsis or character list

How and when to make an access booking

Our access tickets service is available to anyone who:

  • Would like to book specific accessibility services, e.g. a hearing loop, audio description headsets, captioning units, seating in relation to the location of the BSL interpreter
  • Requires extra assistance when at a venue
  • Has specific seating requirements
  • Is a wheelchair user
  • Requires a complimentary personal assistant ticket to attend a performance

James 83 days ago

Takes a long while to get to what it wants to be about (perhaps needs a redraft focusing more on it's final intent) but when it gets there it's a powerful and interesting piece well performed

Julie Phillips 87 days ago

4 out of 5. Not the best thing I’ve seen but not the worst either

amy whyte 88 days ago

I found this show disappointing. At first it seemed like a comedy but were we really supposed to find it funny that four young girls were obsessed with violent crime? At times it seemed to be a musical with music not in tune with the time of BJ murders. Then a rant about men and serial killers? Energetic cast but in my opinion not a good production

E S 88 days ago

Absolutely really really loved this! A clever and nuanced look into obsession and violence. It’s imaginative and complicated and challenging and leaves you with loads to talk and think about for long after you leave the theatre. The cast are charming and funny and passionate throughout. Go go go

TB 88 days ago

Save your money, go to another show at Pleasance. I'd rather just see them putting up a YouTube documentary about Bible John.

Martyn Deans 91 days ago

When I saw the show last week, it started really late and seemed to go on forever. At least a couple of times I thought it had indeed finished,only for it to go on and on. I thought the message they were trying to give out seemed contradictory as well--criticising True Crime stories,with what was in large part, one itself. The theme that women are never serial killers was very much contradicted by the show I saw immediately before this one--Drowned--about female nurses mass murdering in Austria, in the 80s.

Caroline Coles 92 days ago

I m sorry to report that I thought this was dreadful. Dialogue gabbled at a nervous pace, confusing repetitive narrative with scenes moving confusingly from women at work to play detectives. And the message " men kill women" - yes but nothing illuminating. I support young student actors at the Fringe but this group needs a truly critical eye in order to move forward

E J 95 days ago

A play that is both a spectacle from both the scenography and the performances.

Scottie 96 days ago

I quite enjoyed this. Original and energetic and the cast worked well. Was a bit confused at the end as to ‘the point’ (maybe needs a rework on the ending and underlying sentiment) but then again, great to see new young talent putting it out there. Well done ladies!

Sean Davis 97 days ago

Bible John (***)
Four office mates discover that they all secretly love true crime stories, and set about listening to a podcast that attempts to solve the Bible John serial killer case. As they tried to pursue the clues provided in the podcast, I found it hard to keep awake. When they came to the end, and presented the lessons they had learned, I felt that the play had pandered to the audience instead of proving their point.

This was the 39th most enjoyable of the 54 shows I have seen so far this year. You may see my other three-sentence reviews, in order from most enjoyable to worst, at my non-commercial website:

LTW 99 days ago

Interesting concept but I'm not sure how it won all the awards/ratings as I felt that it is still work in progress.

The show overran by 10+ minutes, and there were quite a number of scenes that were stretched out to the point of being annoyingly repetitive, instead of getting to the point.

The ending was disappointing in so far as it failed to hit home any point of the whole play.

Would not recommend.

Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.

Within Her Words (4.5/5 stars) 76 days ago

What an interesting and complex piece of theatre. The four women are brilliant, and work together to tell this story in a familiar and exciting way. Excellent direction is at play here by Lizzie Manwaring, with the clever use of props to signify important factors, such as using headphones as various items throughout, and the use of microphones to symbolise different voices.

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Broadway World (4/5 stars) 78 days ago

Bible John is a play about the infamous Barrowland murderer who killed three women in the 1960's at the Glasgow dancehall. There's a huge trend in true crime documentaries and podcasts and it is typically women to tend to be fans of them. In Bible John, a group of four...

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The Wee Review (3/5 stars) 83 days ago

The makers of Bible John might be somewhat surprised by recent piece in The Cut – Is True Crime Over? The widespread obsession with serial killers in recent years, particularly among young women, is the central concern of their play, presented with the assumption that it continues to flourish unabated....

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Everything Theatre (3/5 stars) 84 days ago

Recipient of Pleasance’s Charlie Hartill Theatre Reserve 2019, Bible John wants to point a finger at the increasing exploitation of crime as a means to entertain an audience, and especially that which sees women as victims.

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Voice Magazine (3/5 stars) 85 days ago

All in all, Bible John is a fun production with flashes of brilliance and lovingly self-aware and powerful critique that never feels like it reaches its true potential.

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To Do List (3.5/5 stars) 86 days ago

An engaging true-crime deconstruction that survives a gear-change to leave a lasting impression.Riding the wave of the latest craze for podcasts is surely the True Crime genre – even people who have never listened to a podcast in their life will probably have heard of at least one of My...

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Broadway Baby (5/5 stars) 87 days ago

In the late 1960s three women were murdered by an Old Testament quoting serial killer by the name of Bible John. At least, that’s the story the media circulated. No one knows if his name was in fact John – the Barrowland Ballroom, where the murders took place, wasn’t the...

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The Scotsman (4/5 stars) 91 days ago

Podcasts and Netflix have made true-crime buffs of us all. ...

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Exeunt 91 days ago

Four women in the office share a secret. They are united by their love of true crime, an obsession that they had been too ashamed to share until discovering their fellow enthusiasts. ‘It feels like the sort of thing you should probably keep to yourself’, one of the characters explains,...

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Whats On Stage (3/5 stars) 95 days ago

There are a fair few serious Serial addicts out there, while Netflix's Making a Murderer has made homicide a hot topic in the media. It's what makes Bible John's initial act so searingly great. Four co-workers (though they don't seem to be doing any work) are hooked on a true-crime...

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ThreeWeeks (4/5 stars) 95 days ago

From podcasts to prestige Netflix films, the true crime documentary industry is booming. Why? ‘Bible John’ tackles the question head-on, presenting the story of four women growing obsessed with a true crime podcast concerning (real) serial killer Bible John. It finds the nuance in the question, being interrogative but not...

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The Times [paywall] (3/5 stars) 96 days ago

The demand for true crime has never been greater. Television schedules are saturated with documentaries based around real-life murder cases, from The Staircase to Making a Murderer, while blockbuster podcasts such as Serial and Dirty John have bequeathed the genre to an ardent younger audience. This new Fringe show, created...

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The List (3/5 stars) 98 days ago

Laudable attempt to critique the modern fascination with true crime...

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FringeReview 99 days ago

Bible John is highly recommended and all of the cast and production team are marked as ones to watch. Bible John was the moniker given to a serial killer operating in Glasgow in the late 1960’s. He murdered three women he had encountered at a popular dancehall. Fifty years later, with...

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Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.

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Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.