Investigating Murder at Bury Records Office…

It’s been a bit quiet on the Bring Out Your Dead Blog and social media feeds, but it’s about to get much, much busier as we’ve lots of really exciting projects brewing in our cauldron (literally, in one case) and some big announcements to make in the coming days and weeks!

And announcement numero uno is this…

We’re thrilled to announce that we are partnering up with Bury St Edmunds Records Office to run a pilot project called ‘Murder in the Red Barn’.

Over the next three months we’ll be working with a group of local young actors who will use the archives in Bury to research the notorious story of the 1827 murder of Maria Marten by her lover William Corder in the Red Barn, Polstead. Once they’ve mined the archives for all the historical jewels they can find they’ll work with award-winning local playwright Danusia Iwaszko to write a new one-act play based on their research that will be performed as a staged-reading at three venues in Suffolk this August.

We had our very first meeting and research session with our young actors yesterday evening with an excellent lecture on the Red Barn Murder from the records office archivist Victoria, and some time to explore the wide variety of different sources that are in the archives. It was fantastic to see a group of young people engaging with their local history and learning about archives with such enthusiasm and excitement, and we can’t wait to see what they come up with in August!

Our partnership with the Records Office is funded by National Lottery players through the Heritage Lottery Fund (more on these wonderful people in a future blog post…), and we hope it will lead to many more exciting projects like this in the future.

We’ll be putting more information about when and where the staged readings will be, and how you can book tickets, on our website, and Facebook, and Twitter feeds soon. In the meantime here’s a picture of some young people reading books…