Year 10 GCSE Drama students at Framingham Earl High School prepare to tell the true story of ‘The Surlingham Girl’.

Set in 1783 onwards, our Year 10 actors take you to Norwich PRISON and a CONVICT ship bound for Australia. 



On 6th March 1764 a little girl, Susannah Holmes, was christened in Surlingham church.

Susannah grew up to become a servant in Thurlton.

In November 1783, Susannah was thrown into Norwich Castle, the dark and dismal town’s prison. She had been arrested for stealing teaspoons and linen.

ImageThe judge sentenced her to death on 19th March 1784.

The death sentence was commuted to transportation and Susannah spent three years in the castle prison, awaiting transportation on a convict ship.

She met and fell in love with Henry Kable from Suffolk. He, too, had been sentenced to death for robbery.

Their love blossomed. Henry and Susannah loved each other deeply and wanted to marry. The authorities refused them permission to wed.

On 31st October 1786, the lovers were parted. Henry had to stay in Norwich Prison. Susannah was carted to Portsmouth, with their tiny baby, to start her fourteen years’ punishment in Australia… a voyage of eight or more dreadful months.

They would never, ever see each other again …. or would they?

The first public performance of our 30 minute play, ‘The Surlingham Girl’, will take place on Friday, 7th February at Framingham Earl High School. We are very lucky to have professional historian and lecturer Neil Storey with us for the evening. A graduate of the University of East Anglia, who has published over thirty books and countless articles on a variety of social, crime and military history themes, Neil is one of the founders of the living history movement. He will bring crime and punishment alive to us as part of our own living history event.

Event info: Friday, 7th February at 7.30pm Framingham Earl High School. There is no cost, but it is vital that you book to receive an invitation to our first show. Donations will be very welcomed!

For further information and to reserve a seat and get your invitation, please use Contact Us and we will pass on your request to the school.  Further dates for the play will be confirmed soon.

Information received from Ms Jocelyn Mac, Framingham Earl High School

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