Archives - The Matchgirls

A musical by Bill Owen

Directed by Amanda Sayers

Friday 21st – Saturday 29th April 2017 in the Auditorium

The remarkable true story of the Victorian scandal that sent shockwaves through Britain and changed women's lives forever

The Matchgirls musical play is based on actual events around the London Matchgirls strike of 1888 and focuses on working conditions at the Bryant & May factory in Bow, which had women and children suffering from ‘Phossy Jaw’ where the white phosphorus from matches would rot their jaws away. This was combined with sanctions and fines imposed by management if you were unable to work due to illness.

The match-cutters finally rebelled against their working conditions and this is their story. The incongruously named ‘Hope Court’ is the setting for much of the play, for it is there the workers live in shabby tenements. Desperation turns Kate, the tenement girl, into a reckless strike-leader, and complicates her courtship with Joe, a docker. Annie Besant, the liberal reformer, champions the strikers’ cause and plays a vital part in bringing about their ultimate victory over what was then a callous management.


Tickets are now available for just £15. Buy online or from the Box Office.

Meal deal

Take advantage of our £29 meal deal with Terranova Italian Restaurant in Stanborough Park which includes a 2-course, pre-show meal from the set menu with a glass of wine and a ticket for the show. Download the menu

Not available Sundays and Mondays.

Part of the Barn’s 2016/2017 season

Presented by The Barn Theatre Club


Kate-Tammy Wall
Polly-Emily Heighway
Mrs Purkiss-Alison Gibbs
Old Min-Mary Goodfellow
Nell-Abigail Williams
Jessie-Allie Neal
Winnie-Helena Bradbury
Dot-Kathryn Taylor
Beattie-Gill Shaw
Maggie-Alison Downes
Frances-Louise Bateman
Lisa-Gabriella Waspe
Ines Dito Smith
Louie-Olivia Breeze
Rosa Dito Smith
Scottish Girl / Matchgirl-Darcie White
Annie Besant-Rachel Thomas
Paula Westerby-Devi Smart
Joe-Dan Breeze
Perce-Ben Giles
Bert-Toby MacDonald
George Bernard Shaw-Rod Wiltshire
Foreman Mynel & Docker-Peter Sayers
Mr Potter & Docker-Andrew Read
Docker-Alan Gibbs

Creative Team

Director-Amanda Sayers
Production Manager-Avril Robinson
Musical Director-David Meek
Set Design-Eric Farlie
Stage Manager-Sharon Francis
Assistant Stage Manager-Sue Hantke
Lighting-John Cude
Sound-James Rowles
Sound Assistant-Katherine Steed
Props-Vanessa Baker
Nick Baker
India Mason-Mills
Wardrobe-Maggie Bushnell
Margaret Wallace
Tiffany Breeze
Poster & Programme Design-John Cook


Friday 21st – Saturday 29th April 2017

Friday 21st April8.00pm 
Saturday 22nd April8.00pm 
Monday 24th April8.00pm 
Tuesday 25th April8.00pm 
Wednesday 26th April8.00pm 
Thursday 27th April8.00pm 
Friday 28th April8.00pm 
Saturday 29th April2.30pm 
Saturday 29th April8.00pm 

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