The Drowning Girls

By Beth Graham, Charlie Tomlinson, Daniela Vlaskalic

Produced by Kim Brouwer| Directed by Carol Beauchamp


Bessie, Alice, and Margaret have two things in common: they are married to George Joseph Smith and they are dead. Surfacing from the bathtubs they were drowned in, the three breathless brides gather evidence against their womanizing, murderous husband, reliving the shocking events leading up to their deaths.

The Drowning Girls is based on the life of murderer and bigamist – George Joseph Smith who lived in England in the early 1900’s. This infamous case became known in the popular press of the time as the ‘Brides in the Bath Murders’, a case which centred on three of his wives – Alice Burnham, Bessie Mundy and Margaret Lofty. George Joseph Smith must have been a convincing and charismatic individual to have wooed and won so many women – who were then parted from their money, and in the case of three of his wives, from their lives. This play is not only an indictment of an extremely unscrupulous individual, but also of Victorian and Edwardian society – where a woman was not considered an equal, or a complete person, unless she was married.

The Drowning Girls is both a breathtaking fantasia and a social critique, full of rich images, a myriad of characters and lyrical language: thought provoking, suspenseful and gripping theatre.

Winner of the Betty Mitchell Award for Outstanding New Play.

Performances at the Firehall Theatre, Cobourg.


The Drowning Girls is produced by special arrangement with PLAYWRIGHTS GUILD OF CANADA.

May 24, 25, 31,June 1, 6, 7, 8, 2019, at 8:00 pm

May 26, June 2, 9, 2019, at 2:00 pm


Tickets $22 (+ handling)

Call 905-372-2210 or 1-855-372-2210 or purchase online at

Read the review on Anchor Northumberland

Meet the Cast

Left to right:
From left to right:   Bridget Gillie, Kate Shuker, Justine Benteau

Read what director, Carol Beauchamp, says about The Drowning Girls:

This is an extremely challenging play on many levels – three actresses each tell their story by playing several different characters on a minimalistic set that requires the use of bathtubs and water – always a hazard for actors! Additionally, the subject matter is extremely dark and sensitive, and therefore, the greatest challenge lies in presenting a thought provoking portrayal without alienating the audience. Our cast and crew have worked extremely hard to create an evocative staging of this production. I hope that you enjoy this presentation of the Drowning Girls, and that this unconventional play provokes thoughtful conversation about gender stereotypes, domestic violence, and our fundamental need and desire to be loved and accepted.

We thank our production sponsors: