THE LAST WITCH
By Rona Munro. Directed by Ray Paolino.
Scotland, 1727. An eccentric widow’s refusal to deny charges of witchcraft sets her at odds with a new sheriff, threatening not only her life but that of her daughter.
Sept. 22, 26-30 @ 8:00pm
Sept. 24 & Oct. 1 @ 2:30pm
Tickets: $16, $12 for Students.
RONA MUNRo'S THE LAST WITCH | Promotional Photos
“I can light a fire in the coldest heart, laddie, that’s what’s killed me,” boasts Janet Horne, the last witch legally executed in Britain in 1727. Her life up to this point has been a hardscrabble existence in the hostile, barren east coast of northern Scotland. Every mouthful of food is the result of her sole efforts and the occasional kindness of a neighbor to keep Janet and her young daughter alive. Janet’s teenage daughter Helen was born handicapped and is now stigmatized by the rest of the slightly more prosperous residents of Dornoch, the small village within a stone’s throw of the harsh, unforgiving coast. At the start of the play, Janet and her daughter represent the lowest bar of social and material status in the town.
What then, has Janet to trade for sustenance or stature in Dornoch? Perhaps she chooses to capitalize on the rumors of her as a woman of “low morality.” She’s a known seducer, according to herself and some citizens of Dornoch. She boasts of her powers of seduction. She possesses wit, intelligence, and language skills. She’s carefully built a myth around her supposedly supernatural gifts—calling the devil, casting spells and controlling nature and crops, enough so that a fear of her wrath has grown among some of the community. She has found some level of cache, it seems. In this world encompassed by Dornoch, an individual with little to no economic tools or social clout has managed to claw her way to a position of some power and perhaps a tiny bit of respect. - Ray Paolino