Stage Adaptation of Angela Carter’s ‘The Fall River Axe Murders’

The Lizzie PlayIn addition to the launch of the Angela Carter Bookclub, Saturday 1st July sees the opening of a new stage adaptation of Angela Carter’s short story ‘The Fall River Axe Murders’ at the RADA Festival. Carter’s short story, which appeared in her 1985 collection Black Venus, is based on the historical figure of Lizzie Borden, who was tried but acquitted for the murder of her father and stepmother in 1892 in Fall River, Massachusetts. Carter depicts the last hours leading up to Lizzie’s infamous act, using a style that is “sensual, cerebral, [and] almost hypnotic” according to the blurb on the official Angela Carter website.

Fast forward to 2017, director Nona Shepphard and writer Deirdre Strath have adapted Carter’s story for the stage under the title ‘The Lizzie Play’. As they write, the play “scavenges trial transcripts, newspaper reports and true crime writing to give a darkly humorous, haunting retelling of a brutal and curiously tidy act of parental butchery.” ‘The Lizzie Play’ will be playing at the GBS Theatre, at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, from the 1st until the 8th July. To book tickets, head over to the official RADA website here.


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