The Undoing of Polly Button

Polly Button, a weaver with five children, was horrifically murdered in 1832 by her married lover John Danks while she was heavily pregnant with his child. He was convicted and executed for this infamous crime which horrified the whole country. However, the newspapers saw Polly as “a victim of her own gross immorality”, considering her at least partly responsible for her own demise.

At the heart of this story which has been worked into a poignant musical retelling, there is a battle for women’s rights, a mystery which may never be fully solved, and a lesson of resilience and unbelievable courage in the face of adversity. Watch and listen as the ghost of Polly teaches a young writer to “weave another world”.

This folk opera tells the tale of how Polly, the nickname of ribbon weaver Mary Green, met her grizzly end.