The trial of Edith Thompson, brought to life in The Lowry Theatre 100 years on from the initial crime, was a moving performance exploring the battles of gender, class, and society in 1922.  

Written by Harriet Madeley and directed by Madelaine Moore, the factual theatre performance tapped into the court proceedings of post-war Britain, whilst exploring the mind of Edith.  

The Crowded Room Theatre company tells the stories of real-life people through theatrical performances. The award-winning theatre company specialise in stories that get people talking and although this was their first historical case, this was no different.  

Using the real court transcripts, the play re-examined the trial which split the nation. In 1922, twelve members of the British public decided whether Edith Thompson lived or died, but from the beginning of this thought provoking play the audience played a part of this role. The evidence was played out like a real trial and captivated the audience, bringing a new idea of storytelling immersing them in the hearing.

The modern take on the play reminded the audience that although this was 100 years ago, it is still a story of tragedy and love which could happen today. The choice of music and clever choice of costume from Sascha Gilmour (set and costume designer) gave the audience an idea of how this trial could still play out in modern times. 

Harriet talks about reading the transcripts and turning them into a play for the modern audience.

The actors (Sadeghian, Knightley, Christian and Madeley), apart from Edith (Corbin), never left the stage for a large part of the play and did not take part in large costume or set changes. This was accompanied by the multiple characters each actor played. Each actor changed character seamlessly, with incredible voice and body language acting to differentiate each part.  

Although, the actors played such brilliant parts often if attention slipped for a moment from the audience, it was a task to understand which character was speaking, this is where the 4 screens and audio helping tell the story really helped navigate the play. The cozy setting of The Lowry really played into this setting of the scene as it was the perfect size and atmosphere to grasp the attention.  

Overall, Edith tells the story of a real women in a beautiful way and is proof why Crowded Room is an award-winning theatre company. 

Edith runs at The Lowry till Saturday 4 February 2023. Get tickets Here

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *