The Murder of Maria Marten or The Red Barn - performed May 1990
By Brian J Burton
Performed with the kind permission of Samuel French
Director - Dennis Murfitt
|William Corder||Adrian Bolton|
|Thomas Marten||Dennis Murfitt|
|Tim Bobbin||Chris Mason|
|Johnny Badger||Charles Padgham|
|Nell Marten||Val Taylor|
|Maria Marten||Lesley Mercer|
|Mrs Marten||Jane Cousins|
|Anne Marten||Allison Trenerry|
|Meg Robbin||Jenine Weatherill|
|Petra Andrews||Brenda Chapman|
|Carmen James||Debi Koval|
|Tom Post||Kevan Porter|
|Alice Rumble||Alison Brett|
|Pharos Lee||Chris Mead|
The latest offering from the Manningtree Group had everything, taking the audience through the full range of emotions.
Based on the true story of the murder of a Suffolk woman more than 170 years ago, the two-act play by Brian J. Burton
unfolded over 14 scenes and was presented in the form of a Victorian melodrama.
The 14-strong cast was headed by Adrian Bolton, who gave an outstanding performance as the evil murderer William Corder.
Invited at the beginning to join in, the audience dutifully hissed whenever the “baddie” appeared on stage and cheered
when he got his just desserts, but at the end almost wept for him in the final dramatic soliloquy from the condemned cell.
A close second for the star label was Chris Mason as the village idiot, who quickly established himself as a
favourite with the audience.
There were also fine performances from Val Taylor as the scheming gypsy Nell Hatfield and Lesley Mercer as the “fallen”
They were well supported by Maria’s parents, Dennis Murfitt, once again produced and directed, and Jane Cousins and
Maria’s sister played by Allison Trenerry.
Everyone has long stopped thinking of this group as amateur, so professional and polished are the performances and so
meticulous the attention to detail.
There is no doubt the group, never afraid to try something different, scored another hit.