Barn Theatre Club presents

Barn Theatre Production Graphic

The Matchgirls

A musical by Bill Owen
Directed by Amanda Sayers
Musical Director David Meek
21st – 29th April 2017

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.


Directed by
Amanda Sayers
Musical Director
David Meek


Mrs Purkiss
Scottish Girl / Matchgirl
Annie Besant
Paula Westerby
George Bernard Shaw
Foreman Mynel & Docker
Mr Potter & Docker


Production Manager
Set Design
Stage Manager
Assistant Stage Manager
Poster & Program Design

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