Review: Polstead – Eastern Angles

An extremely talented all female cast brings the story of Maria Marten and the true story of her murder in the Red Barn to life in Eastern Angles latest offering – Polstead.

The Murder in the Red Barn is one of those tales that is fixed in the history of Suffolk. A young woman killed by her lover William Corder, his subsequent trial and hanging, public outrage and fascination with the twists and turns of the plot. A visit to Moyses Hall Museum in Bury St Edmunds and you will find some gruesome mementos of Corder’s execution, but what about Maria Martin, who was she and how did she end up buried in the floor of a barn?

Beautifully written by Beth Flintoff, Polstead answers these questions, telling the story of Maria in the most dramatic and captivating way.

The strong acting and onstage chemistry sets the scene for what life was like to be a woman, struggling to make ends meet in the 1820s. And, unlike most tales about murder, the focus is very much on Maria, who doesn’t meet her assailant until just before the interval.

Polstead is an amazing piece of theatre that carries you along with twist and turns a plenty, you certainly don’t expect humour in a piece about such a brutal murder and yet it’s there, in just the right places and at just the right time. With a clever set design, fabulous lighting and music and brilliant costumes, this is one piece of theatre that will really move you.

Polstead is more than a murder tale it’s the story of women, and of how the struggles of life bring about the most strongly bonded friendships. Maria Martin was an amazingly strong young woman, who was born on the wrong side of the poverty line and yet managed to make ends meet, her only downfall was to meet a man who was evil to the core, who took advantage of her and ultimately took her life…

Polstead is touring various locations in Suffolk until Sunday 5th August for dates, venues and to book tickets visit or telephone the Box Office on 01473 211498

Review: Wendy Cook, Ipswich24