Working hard to ensure that The Marsh Demons of Iken are coming to Orford Church on July 9th

Posted on March 24, 2021

The Thomas Marshall Education Fund trustees are working closely with Rust and Stardust and the Head of Orford and Bawdsey Schools to ensure that, subject to COVID rules, the Thomas Marshall Education Fund collaboration with puppet company Rust & Stardust and Orford and Bawdsey schools to present their re-scheduled project on Friday 9th July in Orford Church will still go ahead. There will be two performances; the first at 1.00pm and the second at 6.00pm.

It is said that Iken is the land of Icanho that St Botolph was granted by King Ethelmund to build his minster in the 7th century. There were marsh demons in these parts during those times and one can still feel the eeriness of the area with the mysterious Yarn Hill where Botolph reputedly drove away the ghosts and marsh demons in order to build his minster. It was eventually completed on the site of the historic church at Iken which still bears his name and you can see St Botolph’s stone cross which is on display in the church.

Many people will remember the performances of Rust and Stardust in Orford Church over the past few years. The members of this talented young puppet company have presented their interpretation of many local Suffolk folk tales including The Wild Man of Orford, The Green Children of Woolpit and Black Shuck. This last one was a collaboration with the children of Orford school producing their own puppets as part of the national Arts Award Scheme and running wild as Shuck’s pack through Orford Church to the delight of the audience in 2018.

Rust and Stardust have been successful in securing an Arts Council grant to fund another collaboration with Orford School and Bawdsey School this year.

The theme of this year’s project will be The Marsh Demons of Iken covering the curious goings on with St Botolph and Iken Church. Anyone who witnessed the enthusiastic children performing Black Shuck won’t want to miss this event. Anyone who missed Black Shuck doesn’t know what they missed and should make sure they don’t miss The Marsh Demons of Iken.

Refreshments will be available.

For further details email Email

Originally scheduled for April 2020, this production is the latest in a very popular series of local Suffolk tales featuring the puppet company and the pupils and developed jointly as part of the Arts Council Arts Award programme. The aim of this scheme is to support young people who want to deepen their engagement with the arts, build creative and leadership skills and achieve a national qualification. The awarding body responsible for Arts Award is Trinity College London.