Milton Keynes based theatre company, The Play’s the Thing, has been awarded funding from Arts Council England to take two brand new plays based on historic true crime cases to Hanger Farm Arts Centre, Totton, on 12th May as part of its Hidden Stories tour.
The two short plays written by female playwrights will revisit and delve into the famous cases of Ruth Ellis and Edith Thompson to uncover the hidden stories of these two women both accused of murder and sentenced to death.
‘Now You See Me’ is a one woman play written and performed by Carly Halse that looks at the story of Ruth Ellis, the last woman hanged, in 1955. She confessed to the murder of her violent and controlling lover, but what drove her to do it?
‘Darlint Peidi’ written by Rosemary Hill, artistic director of The Play’s The Thing, looks at the hidden story of Edith Thompson executed in 1923 for the murder of her husband. It was her lover who killed her husband. Edith was innocent. Was she hanged for adultery?
Two powerful and intriguing plays that look deeper into these hidden stories full of misogyny, prejudice, manipulation and negligence. They challenge these women’s convictions, penalties and the failure of the British criminal justice system.
Rosemary Hill says: “Hidden Stories gives an intriguing look at stories not told or stories where we have a particular accepted version, but there is often more to say.
“People’s judgements on elements such as the age gap between Edith and Bywaters, Edith’s letters, Ruth’s job and her appearance, are not made on facts. They are susceptible to prejudice. These innocent women were executed in a male dominated society.”
“The 9th of January 2023 marked the centenary of Edith Thompson’s execution. Touring with her Hidden Story during the 100th year anniversary of her death, will hopefully make her case even more poignant and thought-provoking for our audiences. We hope it will challenge and raise awareness of not only her miscarriage of justice, but others too.”
Hidden Stories is suitable for those aged 14+.
For further information, visit: playsthethingtheatrecompany.co.uk/productions/hidden-stories-national-tour
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