The Barn Theatre, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire

The Matchgirls – Charity Preview

20th April 2017 at 20:00:00

Charity preview performance in support of Home-Start

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.

About Home-Start

Home-Start provides a unique service for families – recruiting and training volunteers to support young families with children at home. Home-Start volunteers will visit families each week, supporting parents in situations as diverse as isolation, bereavement, multiple births, illness, disability or just where parenting is a struggle. They provide non-judgemental practical and emotional support and help build the family’s confidence and ability to cope. Read more on the Home-Start website

If you are a parent or grandparent and have a couple of hours to spare each week to befriend a family, Home-Start Herts would love to hear from you.  Please contact us on 01438 367788 or via the website.


Opening 28th May
By John Finnemore
Opening 13th June
By Mary Chase



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Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Statement

At the Barn we are committed to promoting equality and challenging discrimination in all its forms. We strive to create a safe and inclusive environment for all members of the cast and creative team, regardless of their race, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity and will not tolerate any form of discrimination or harassment.

Part 1, 18th Jan 8pm

Part 2, 19th Jan 8pm

Parts 1+2 20th Jan 2.30pm

Part 1, 23rd Jan 8pm

Part 2, 24th Jan 8pm

Part 1, 25th Jan 8pm

Part 2, 26th Jan 8pm

Part 1, 27th Jan 2.30pm

Part 2,  27th Jan 8pm