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A new production from Shooting Fish Theatre Company

Touring to heritage venues and arts centres across the UK
This production is perfect for prisons,Victorian workhouses, and arts venues.



GENRE: Thriller   |   LENGTH: 70 minutes    |   TAGLINE: Rest In Pieces

THEME: Role of women in Victorian Britain | Crime and Justice | Industrial 

1895. In a prison cell, 72 year old Margaret Van woods awaits imminent execution for the mass murder of young women, conducted over a 40 year reign of terror. The night before her hanging, a ghost-writer visits, charged with the task of penning Margaret’s story; an unprecedented opportunity to unearth the truth behind the frenzied killings.


What were the motivations and methods? How did Margaret evade capture for so long? And why, most alarmingly, was every victim missing their heart?


“How many were there in the end?” the ghost-writer asks the murderess.


But she never gets her answer . . .


For the total number has still to be settled. 


The Trailer

The Murderess Trailer 2024

The Murderess Trailer 2024

Play Video

‘Brilliant stuff. The performances were superb, and the staging was epic.’ 

Audience quote



3 performers + 1 technician  


6 metres depth x 5 metres width x 2 metres height


70 mins, no interval


12+ years


Lighting pre-rig is essential. Blackout is required


Provided by Shooting Fish


We use QLab with external soundcard, 4 x 1/4" jack to 4 speakers.


Approx 6hrs


Approx 2hrs

*Negotiable For non-theatre venues

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£950 guarantee or a 70:30 split (in favour of Shooting Fish) whichever the greater.

We are open to negotiations

Shooting Fish is not VAT registered


The Murderess is available for single or multiple nights between

Thursday 3rd October and Tuesday 31st October 2024


Bookings are via email and subject to availability and funding.

We may have some flexibility on dates please contact to discuss.


We intend to offer a limited number of participatory curtain raiser projects.  This is an opportunity for young people to write, rehearse and record a 10 minute curtain raiser play prior to The Murderess performance. This would be take place within the heritage venue or a partner youth theatre.  This offer includes;

  • A workshop session with professional playwright Neil Edwards for young people to explore script ideas.

  • A completed 10 minute audio script written by Neil Edwards sent to the group.

  • A workshop session with a Shooting Fish theatre director to launch the rehearsal process.

  • A £100 bursary towards props and costume.

  • A recording of the final audio play which will act as a curtain raiser to The Murderess

Please state your interest in the extended offer in your booking email. Available on a first come first served basis. Subject to Heritage Lottery funding. 


‘Fabulous night of Grand Guignol horror at the Trinity Arts Centre! A superb piece of theatre, full of black humour and Victorian horror (not forgetting a creepy creepy doll!)’

Audience quote


‘The Murderess is everything a thriller should be: gripping, compelling, occasionally funny without descending to camp and with a cracking twist towards the end.


Shooting Fish isn’t just a theatre company that produces new work. Their principal purpose is to produce excellent theatre which involves their community as participants, not just audiences. The play’s incarnation, development and realisation were at the hands of a group of young people working closely with the company.


The production values were as high as any other professional show and, in many instances, higher’


Richard Vergette

British Theatre Guide




Shooting Fish is a professional new-writing theatre company based in Lincoln.

One of the core ethos’ of the company is the production of new writing for and with communities, often working in areas of high deprivation, where there is little or no arts activity.


Director and Manager of Trinity Arts Centre, Gainsborough.

Craig is a theatre director who graduated from Rose Bruford College with a BA (Hons) Theatre Studies.  Craig has credits from theatres across the UK including the Lichfield Garrick, HOME and Buxton Opera House.

He has a wealth of experience in operations and arts engagement which is invaluable to the development of Trinity Arts Centre and the wider arts scene across the Lincolnshire district.

Trinity Arts Centre is a unique picture-house and theatre housed in a stunning grade II listed Church dating back to 1843. It hosts a varied programme of theatre and film as well as showcasing an eclectic mix of quality live theatre, live music and film, including live streamings from the Bolshoi Ballet, National Theatre and the support of Lincolnshire theatre makers


Artistic Director

Emily has been working in film and theatre for almost 20 years, in this time she has developed as a highly skilled producer, director and applied theatre practitioner working collaboratively on a wide variety of projects across the UK.


As Artistic Director of Shooting Fish Theatre Company, she has lead on a host of projects funded by organisations including Arts Council England, Children in Need and Heritage Lottery, supporting the organisation to produce high-quality theatre which has toured nationally. Specialising in new writing, Emily enjoys collaborating closely with writers and the challenges that come with producing untested material. She is a passionate about community engagement and a strong advocator that art is for everyone, often co-producing work with communities, especially those who face barriers to participation and deprivation. 




Neil has a broad background in many cultural and artistic fields, but in recent years has been developing his career as a writer and scriptwriter. He has written for theatre, radio and film, (running Liverpool Playwrights from 2003-2007) and has been nominated for a Manchester Evening News Theatre Award twice.


Neil also writes short stories, flash fiction and reviews, drawing from a sharply developed worldview. He holds a BA in Video and Film Production and an MA (distinction) in Writing for Stage and Broadcast Media from the Central School of Speech and Drama. Neil has collaborated with us on both our Gainsborough Literacy Projects, co-writing fours plays which previewed at the Trinity Arts Centre in 2014 and 2015.



Set and costume designer Laura Cordery has a first-class degree in Art from Warwick University and a post-graduate diploma in theatre set and costume design from RADA. Laura has been working with Shooting Fish since 2010 and has designed sets for Laminated tour to Covent Garden and the 2012 Bonfire stage design based on Roald Dahl’s BFG. She has also transformed spaces onboard the Queen Mary Cruise ship for Shakespeare’s classics including Hamlet and Much Ado About Nothing.



Leanne has worked in the creative industries for over 25 years. She ran her own street theatre company and produces theatre work across Lincolnshire. As a producer for Shooting Fish, she has worked on a variety of funded projects including the development of the Literacy Project and Reconnecting Lincolnshire a Theatre in Education programme working with the Lincoln Diocese Board of Education.


Sound Designer and Composer

Dan is an enthusiastic collaborator drawing on a wealth of experience in music and sound production. As an accomplished musician and performer, Dan's passion for creating and manipulating sound grew out of his early days touring and recording as frontman with a ska-punk septet. He has since developed a career as an independent sound designer and composer, and is very much in his element working with creators of visual media and theatre.


Casting Director 

Anji Carrol trained as an actress at the Old Vic theatre school, before sidestepping into casting some 10 years later. Having served 4 years apprenticeship as casting assistant to Di Carling where she worked on projects like ‘This Life’, Anji decided to become a casting director in her own right. Anji has since cast for TV, film and theatre. Working on the likes of ‘The Bill’, ‘West is West’ and is currently associate casting director for the New Vic Theatre, London. Anji is a member of the Casting Directors’ Guild of Great Britain & Ireland and a voting member of BAFTA.


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Fiona tong trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre school. Recent roles include: Countess of Roussillon in All's Well That Ends Well at The Minack; the title role in The Murderess for Shooting Fish Theatre Company; understudying Ruth Jones in The Nightingales for Bath Theatre Royal. Currently appearing as Auntie Dolly in "Whistle Down the Wind", Union Theatre from 28th Nov - 21st Dec. Confirmed for Spring 2020, will play the lead acting role of Satyavati in Until the Lions: Echoes from the Mahabharata for Opéra national du Rhin in Strasbourg and Mulhouse.



Anna is a recent graduate of the Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts. She has had an extremely busy 2019 beginning her year as Juliet in Mad Blood Stiring’s production of Romeo and Juliet at the Albany Theatre, Deptford before touring nationally. The production was commissioned by Warwick Arts Centre, Z-arts, Oxford Playhouse and The Core at Corby Cube. She has also starred as Miss Seacole in Shooting Fish’s production of The Murderess and in Heavens Gate by cosmic collective. Anna is currently performing in Sleeping Beauty at the Everyman Theatre in Liverpool. 



Anthony trained at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts. 

He had a great time playing Alfred Enright in The Murderess for Shooting Fish.


Other Theatre work includes Toad in The Wind in the Willows, The King of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland, Baloo in The Jungle Book (Sixteen feet productions), Joe Gargery in Great Expectations and Sir Toby Belch in The Comedy of Errors (Attic Theatre Company), It's A Wonderful Life, Hamlet, Summer Lightning, A Woman of No Importance, Man of the Moment, The Grapes of Wrath (Pitlochry Festival Theatre) Macbeth(Vienna's English Theatre).


Radio includes Doctor Zhivago, The Regent's Tale, High Table Lower Orders, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead and Edge Falls (BBC).


Anthony is also a Voice Artist and has appeared in a number of TV commercials in the UK and abroad.

‘Effortlessly gripping writing the gothic mix of macabre and mirth was exactly right, from the quietly tense opening, all the way to the full-on Dario Argento ending’

Audience quote


The Murderess was produced as part of the 2019 Literacy Project. The Literacy Project works with young people in Gainsborough annually to write and co-produce new work with the support of professional artists. The young people involved are not in full-time education, training or employment, or are struggling with mainstream education because of learning and/or behavioural difficulties and additional literacy needs.

The project is funded by Children in Need, West Lindsey District Council and DJS Arts.

The Murderess is the first time the company has toured work produced as part of the literacy project. We hope this will be the first of many.

The Murderess was conceived from a short story written by Chloe, aged 16. The below image was used as a stimulus.


‘I was really proud of my idea and how it became a play, and everyone got to see it. I like to be creative but sometimes I find it hard, but it is good working with Shooting Fish’.


Chloe, aged 16

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