Whats On

The Ballad of Maria Marten

Eastern Angles & Matthew Linley Creative Projects in association with Stephen Joseph Theatre
  • Age Guidance:12+
  • Duration:2 hrs, 30 mins (approx. with interval)

A thrilling retelling of Suffolk’s real-life murder mystery…

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, and the manhunt begins.

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.

Rich and transporting


Well worth catching on its tour

Libby Purves THEATRE CAT

Superbly staged


One of the best theatre experiences of the year


Tour Dates:

Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough: Tuesday 11th - Saturday 15th February 

New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich: Thursday 20th - Saturday 22nd February

New Vic, Newcastle-under-Lyme: Wednesday 26th - Saturday 29th February (on sale soon)

The Ballad of Maria Marten originally toured in 2018 under the name Polstead to Ipswich, Semer, Peterborough and Debach.

As part of the writing process and development of 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 below 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.