Maria, still young, has had three illegitimate children by three different men, all of the children now dead, and longs to escape from her life in the village. Will Corder, the son of a local farmer, is only good at stealing pigs and seducing women, and is obsessed with how to cook an egg. They plan to run off together, and Will says she's gone to Ipswich to make tarts, but when her Young Stepmother continues to have terrible dreams about Maria being murdered in the Red Barn, her Molecatcher father goes out one night with a lantern and finds the girl's hand sticking up from the straw.
The ensuing trial engenders much publicity, including lurid fictional retellings of the murder, and plays like this one. Dolls are sold who represent Maria and Will, and model Red Barns for children. It's a publicity bonanza, and part of Will's tanned scalp with an ear attached becomes a precious souvenir. By turns funny, eerie, mysterious and horrifying, Maria's story is a dark and grotesque foreshadowing of the modern marketing and exploitation of tragedy.
Published in Murder In The Red Barn & Other Plays.
- Mild Adult Themes
- Minimum Fee: $45 per performance
- Time Period: 19th Century
- Duration: 60 minutes (1 hour)
- Additional Features: No intermission
- Features / Contains: Period Costumes
- Musical Style: N/A (Not a musical)
- Ensemble cast