Critically acclaimed production comes to Lowestoft

The Ballad of Maria Marten

The Ballad of Maria Marten. - Credit: Tony Bartholomew

Turning history into her story, critically acclaimed The Ballad of Maria Marten will be performed at The Marina Theatre in Lowestoft this autumn as part of a thrilling new tour.

Produced by Eastern Angles and Matthew Linley Creative Projects, the show is a revisionist retelling of a harrowing true crime which sheds light on a complex tale of love, loss, prejudice, and patriarchal power.

It is summer 1827 and in a red barn Maria Marten awaits her lover. One year later, her body is found underneath the flooring in a grain sack, and the manhunt begins.

Focussing on Maria’s life rather than her death, this feminist adaptation by Beth Flintoff brings Maria’s own perspective to the forefront of the infamous ‘Red Barn Murder’.

Elizabeth Crarer Ballad of Maria Marten

Elizabeth Crarer in the Ballad of Maria Marten. - Credit: Tony Bartholomew

Bringing together an all-female cast, Elizabeth Crarer will return as Maria Marten, alongside Jessica Dives and Susie Barrett.


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Joining them are Sarah Goddard, Bethan Nash and Lydia Bakelmun, as the production is directed by Hal Chambers.

Originally commissioned by Eastern Angles, writer Beth Flintoff was inspired by her work with survivors of psychological abuse, and this timely production highlights the dangers lurking behind closed doors.

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The Ballad of Maria Marten is a clarion call for an equal and safe society.

Beth Flintoff said: “Eleven women died at the hands of their partners during the first three weeks of lockdown

"It’s never been more important for us to consider and celebrate the lives of those that society does not manage to protect.

"This is an old story, about the infamous murder of a woman, but now the story is told from her point of view.

"I wanted to focus on who Maria was: who she loved, what she laughed about, and what she does when she's having fun.

"I didn’t want her to be a victim anymore, so there is no violence on stage.”

Director Hal Chambers added: “At the beginning of The Ballad of Maria Marten writer Beth Flintoff's stage direction tells us that Maria's best friends 'unmurder' her and that is exactly what we are trying to do with this production.

"Nearly 200 years on, we hope to let Maria and her friends finally have a voice.”

The Ballad of Maria Marten is performed at the Marina Theatre on October 14 at 7.30pm and October 15 at 2.30pm.

Tickets available at marinatheatre.co.uk

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