True story of love, deceit and revenge in Yelvertoft

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A famous Victorian melodrama will be performed by talented members of Yelvertoft Drama Group.

The Murder of Maria Marten or The Red Barn has all the ingredients of a good play.

It is directed by Marc Wakeley, who told the Advertiser: “In all main essentials, this is a true story of love, deceit and retribution.

“The audience are in for a real treat with this one and we are hoping it will be popular.”

Maria Marten was born in Polstead, Suffolk in 1801, the daughter of the village mole catcher.

There she met William Corder, the son of the village squire and the two had a child that died in infancy.

In 1827, Corder murdered Maria and buried her body in the Red Barn.

Thomas Marten, because of his wife’s recurring dream, searched the barn and discovered the body of his daughter.

Corder was arrested in London, where he had married, was tried and convicted of the crime and in 1828 was executed at Bury St Edmunds Gaol.

Marc said: “The audience will thoroughly enjoy this Victorian melodrama and will be encouraged to participate in the performance by booing the dastardly deeds of the villain.

“We hope people will be commiserating with our sweet innocent village maiden and loudly cheering the Bow Street Runner as he tries to ensure that justice is done.”

It takes place on March 21 and 22 at Yelvertoft Village Hall, 7.30pm and tickets are £7.50, available by telephoning Jackie Chambers (01788) 822518. The drama group is always appealing for new talent to come forward to join their fun and friendly group. If acting isn’t your thing, volunteers are needed to work backstage. Contact Chris Ryan on (01788) 822839 or Liz Lowther on (01788) 822412.