baby reindeer play differences

Martha’s arrest and all the other differences in Baby Reindeer from the original play

Netflix also cut out all of the bizarre gifts Martha gave Donny


Whilst everyone and their nan has now seen and subsequently obsessed over Baby Reindeer on Netflix, the hype still refuses to die down – and I’m not sure I even want it to. And now with the supposed real Martha speaking out and now due to appear on TV with Piers Morgan, there are still so many questions I have about the situation.

Despite being totally engrossed in the series on Netflix, the whole show was actually based on an award winning play that Richard Gadd actually created and performed across the country before the story made it on the big screen. So, here’s a look at all the ways the Baby Reindeer play was different from the Netflix show.

Richard Gadd performed the Baby Reindeer play as a one man show

Using a number of characters in the Netflix series to tell his relationships with Teri, Darrien and Keeley, Richard instead opted to perform the original play as a one man show. Performing it at Edinburgh Fringe Festival five whole years before the release of the Netflix show, Richard delivered the show’s dialogue and performance alone on stage.

Donny actually received a number of gifts from Martha

baby reindeer play differences

via Netflix

During the period of time she stalked him, the real Martha actually gifted Richard an array of strange gifts. This was reflected in the play, with the performance revealing some of the items he received to be underwear, sleeping pills, a toy reindeer and a wooly hat. In the Netflix series, the only thing Donny receives from Martha is a photograph of herself in her underwear.

Despite this seeming like a small detail to omit, this context was telling of the dynamic between Donny and Martha, adding layers to their relationship as he received gifts from a customer.

The play showed a more realistic level of stalking Richard endured

We hear on the Netflix show that Richard was inundated with messages, voicemails and social media messages from the real Martha, but the amount was actually significantly downplayed in comparison to the real life events. Donny explains that he received around 80 emails a day, but Richard actually got a total of 41,071 emails, 350 hours worth of voicemails, 744 tweets, 46 Facebook messages and 106 pages worth of letters throughout the four years he was stalked. The play was much more realistic when explaining the scale of messages sent by the real Martha but of course without visual representations.

Martha wasn’t sentenced prison time for harassment

baby reindeer play differences

via Netflix

Despite the Netflix show portraying Martha in court and being sentenced to nine months in prison, Richard Gadd’s play did not see his stalker receive prison time. Explaining in multiple interviews that he also saw the real Martha as a victim of trauma, Richard didn’t write the prison sentence into his original play script as he was aware he had done several things which made him an unfavourable character himself at times and that this would have been an unfair end to the story.

Baby Reindeer is available on Netflix now. For more like this and all the latest Netflix news, drops, quizzes and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook. 

Related articles recommended by this author:

• Inside Baby Reindeer star Richard Gadd’s life: The real man who the show is also based on

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• This is the terrifying true story behind Netflix’s creepy new show Baby Reindeer