The Ballad of Maria Marten – national tour 2020, Autumn 2021

In Spring 2020 – together with Eastern Angles and Stephen Joseph Theatre in the Round – I successfully toured THE BALLAD OF MARIA MARTEN by Beth Flintoff.  Following that success we are looking to tour the show again in Autumn 2021 – details of that here on the show mini site

Our goal was to develop a high-quality production and to reach as wide an audience as possible, with a particular focus on audiences outside of the East region.

The Spring 2020 tour visited 3 venues , 17 performances playing to audiences in excess of 4,000.  The show played to significant critical acclaim:

**** Flintoff restores dignity to Maria Marten…unexpectedly joyous” The Guardian★★★★
“***** Extraordinary, brilliant and powerful” Charles Hutchinson Press ★★★★★
“A thrilling and poignant retelling” Grapevine Magazine
“It is vital, layered and empowered, a beautiful piece of theatre” ★★★★
“This is a gem of a production” – Yorkshire ON Magazine
Photo (c) Tony Bartholmew

The sizzle

‘It’s been a year since I died and still nobody has found me’

Summer. 1827.  In a Red Barn Maria Marten awaits her lover.  A year later her body is found under the floor of the barn in a grain sack, barely identifiable.

Maria’s story sent shock waves throughout the country.  The Red Barn Murder (as it became known) was national news, inspiring writers and filmmakers down the ages.  The sort of gruesome tale that had all the hallmarks of a classic crime drama – a missing body, a country location, a disreputable squire and a village stuck in its age old traditions.

But in all this hysteria Maria’s own story gets lost.  Until now – Hal Chambers and Beth Flintoff’s spine tingling retelling rediscovers her story, bringing it back to vivid, urgent life.

Picture Credit Tony Bartholmew

The creative team









Picture Credit Tony Bartholmew

As part of the writing process and development for The Ballad of Maria Marten, Beth Flintoff worked with Lighthouse Women’s Aid based in Ipswich during 2018. Lighthouse is a local charity, working with adults and children affected by domestic abuse across Suffolk

The booklet (follow this link) is a culmination of poems created by a group of inspirational women who have been supported by Lighthouse Women’s Aid. All the contributors are survivors of domestic abuse and the poetry and prose displayed are part of their life stories. 

Please note the booklet contains some explicit and sensitive content. 

Through the UK tour we continued the relationship with Lighthouse . The Lighthouse team came to see the show, had an exclusive tour of the New Wolsey with NWT staff and writer Beth Flintoff and came together with the cast for a celebratory tea with the cast, creative team and local dignitaries post show. Lighthouse wrote to us after the project writing

‘The Lighthouse group just loved being able to come together again, watch the play and have the chance to meet all of you again too. I cannot begin to tell you what a boost it has been for those involved in this project, a very reaffirming event in their lives and has certainly helped them move forward. Please thank the whole team for their commitment and love with which this was produced and staged and thank you for including Lighthouse in this project, you have been an inspiration.’

Picture Credit Tony Bartholmew

For touring details in 2021 see our mini site