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Two new productions about Rugeley’s infamous poisoner are coming to town

The Palmer season at the Rugeley Rose Theater begins with I Am a Murdered Man on March 30 before Prince of Poisoners shows from April 6.

Both productions are written by local writers and performed for the first time at the Rose Theater in Rugeley. The production will be accompanied by an exhibition café organized between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on performance days.

Based on a true story: In 1856 William Palmer of Rugeley, Staffordshire was hanged for the murder of John Parsons Cook. The jury found him guilty of poisoning Cook with a drug known as strychnine.

Palmer is believed to be responsible for the murder of nine other people, including his brother, his wife and four of his children.

He was never held responsible by law for these deaths, but he is remembered as Rugeley’s infamous poisoner.

I Am a Murdered Man – rehearsals pictured above – by Set Piece Theater Productions will run from March 30 to April 2, 2022 and the opening night will include a gala evening for local writer Gerry Hinks.

This piece was written by local writer and actor Gerry Hinks to accompany his book of the same title. Sadly, Gerry passed away last year, but he always intended his play to be performed at his beloved Rugeley Rose theatre.

In 1856, the law did not allow defendants to speak at their own trial, but to give their name and address the court after sentencing.

Palmer claimed he was framed – that some witnesses lied and others omitted crucial facts and that vital witnesses were not called to testify to prove his innocence.

This play explores the “what if” version of a trial in which Palmer speaks and cross-examines his own witnesses. The room reveals a glimpse of the Palmer man.

The opening night will be a celebration and in honor of Gerry Hinks.

Speaking about the play, Teresa Hinks, the writer’s widow, said: “I am very happy that Gerry’s wish has been granted and that his play will be performed at La Rose!”

Prince of Poisoners – rehearsals pictured above – by the Rugeley Musical Theater Company will run April 6-9, 2022.

This is a brand new musical written by two members of the Rugeley Musical Theater Company, Dan Smith and Claire Hughes, and tells the story of William Palmer, the famous poisoner of Rugeley.

The plot explores William Palmer’s son, Billy, traveling to Rugeley, to see if he can uncover the truth about his father. Palmer was never proven to have done these things, so was he guilty or innocent?

Matt Hunt, Production Music Director, said: “Claire did an amazing job with the text and Dan’s music is outstanding – very catchy – Guilty as Sin and What’s Your Poison. in particular, pass the whistle test! »

To accompany the plays, an exhibition will take place in the foyer of the Rugeley Rose Theater between March 30 and April 2 and again from April 6 to 9.

Guests are invited to relax with a hot drink and browse artifacts and memorabilia reflecting Rugeley in the mid-1800s and enjoy previews of the shows on the audio visual installation.

Tickets for each performance cost £12 for adults and £10 for the concession, and both are PG rated.

For more information or to book tickets, call the theater on 01889 584036 or visit their website.

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