‘It’s been a year since I died, and still nobody has found me.’
Summer, 1827. In a red barn in Suffolk, Maria Marten awaits her lover. A year later, hidden in a grain sack under the floor of the barn, Maria’s body is found, barely identifiable – and the manhunt begins.
The Red Barn Murder 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 whilst sending shockwaves throughout the country, Maria’s own story was lost.
The Ballad of Maria Marten rediscovers her story, bringing it back to vivid, urgent life. Beth Flintoff’s thrilling play was first performed by an all-female cast in a production by Eastern Angles in July 2018. Subsequent national tours were produced with Eastern Angles by Matthew Linley Creative Projects in association with the Stephen Joseph Theatre.
‘A glorious piece of folk theatre’
— The Times
‘The genius of what Beth Flintoff has done is that it is not about the gruesome murder… but the person. Vital, layered and empowered, a beautiful piece of theatre’
— A Younger Theatre
‘Flintoff restores dignity to Maria… unexpectedly joyous’
‘Rich and transporting’
— The Stage
‘A unique and engrossing historical play, perfect for a group of female students… Flintoff’s play may be set in the past but it’s definitely written to highlight things that we must seek to change in the future. A captivating read’
— Drama & Theatre Magazine