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Edith

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FEMINIST: “Edith Thompson is a shocking little piece of rubbish”

From award-winning verbatim theatre company Crowded Room (The Listening Room) comes this electrifying recreation of the trial that split the nation.

In December 1922, 28 year-old Edith Thompson was put on trial for inciting her husband’s murder. Just two months earlier, 20 year-old Frederick Bywaters had stabbed him as he walked home.

The prosecution claim Edith told him to do it. The evidence? Her love letters. Twelve members of the British public would decide if she lived or died.

Their guilty verdict inspired a petition signed by a million people.

100 years later, using the real court transcripts, this new play re-examines the sensational case of one of the last women to be executed in the UK, whose guilty verdict has long been criticised but never overturned. According to her biographer Laura Thompson, Edith “never stood a chance” in front of a 1922 jury. But 100 years on, will we see her differently?

JUDGE: “You should not forget that you are in a Court of justice trying a vulgar and common crime. You are not listening to a play from the stalls of a theatre.”

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