You are invited to a Preview and Pizza Night to watch the video of Witchfinder!
21 June 2023 7.30 at the HAODS Studio, New Street, Henley
Come and see this amazing show for yourselves and meet up with all your old friends!
RSVP with numbers for catering
See some stills and hear the stirring end of Act 1 here:
A true society show, with a great story and a score reminiscent of Les Miserable. Several cameo parts plus good chorus work. In 2009, the world premier won five major regional Theatre awards, including Best Actor, Best Choreographer, Best Director and Best Production, along with Best book and Lyrics
It is 1612 and Jacobean England is still reeling from the Gunpowder Plot of several years earlier and the implications it has for the people and more importantly, the King; a king obsessed by demonology and fearful of those who do not practice the faith of the state.
Against this backdrop, Witchfinder introduces the story of two young lovers from different classes, backgrounds and worlds, thrust together in a melting pot of politics and suspicion, fuelled by fear and an over zealous desire to hunt down the evildoers - whether they exist or not.
Prejudice, power, love and honour all vie for supremacy in both the corridors of power in London and the simple village life of Pendle in Lancashire, as they are pitted against each other in a struggle for truth - and survival.
This is a not just another musical. With a cast of up to 20 characters plus optional company, it has a script that has the weight and gravitas of a pure drama but with soaring songs, beautifully orchestrated. Add to this an array of powerful and absorbing characters, tracing their place in history; real people, real lives ... but with tragic and heart-rending consequences. It paints a picture of humanity which is just as resonant today, encompassing life and of loss but more importantly, love and hope.
Characters – the ages mentioned are acting ages – not actual!
Principals (5m, 3f adult, 1f junior)
James Roberts - 25/30. Army captain, strong, intense, good family, not upper class. High Baritone/Tenor
Catherine Howard - 25/35. Strong, independent and determined. Mezzo Soprano
Roger Nowell - a magistrate, desperate for power, influence and wealth. High Baritone
Thomas Potts - 30+, Clerk Of The Assizes, quiet, unassuming, studious. High Baritone.
Edward Sykes - 25/35. James's lieutenant, loyal and unquestioning. Tenor/ High Baritone
Lady Sarah Owen - 20/35. daughter of (unnamed) nobility, engaged to James. Mezzo Soprano
Alizon Device - 20-30 an uncomplicated, shy and nervous young woman, a loner. Mezzo Soprano
Josiah Wickham - 40+, a man of wit and wisdom, Falstaffian, larger than life. Baritone
Jenet Device – 9, Alizon's sister, a quiet girl initially, but later on incriminates Catherine
Support (8m, 2f, 1m/f)
King James - 46, Studious, well spoken, homosexual, but not camp. Non-singing role
Jane - 25-60. a composite character appearing in many scenes. Mezzo Soprano
Elizabeth - 25-60, a composite character appearing in many scenes. Mezzo Soprano
Abraham Law - 20's. a simple local man, attracted to Catherine, jealous of James. Light Baritone
Privy Council (x4) - 30+. Machiavellian, with bearing and authority Tenor x2, Baritone x2
Judges (x4) - 30+, presiding at the Witches trial (can double with Privy Council). Tenor x2, Baritone x2
Servant/Herald - (m/f) any age. Non-solo singing role
Priest/Monk - any age. Non-solo singing role
Gaoler - any age. Non-solo singing role
Male and Female company, who play a variety of roles - Soldiers, an Usher (m), Villagers, Prisoners & Courtiers etc. (The numbers involved are flexible but as a minimum, the supporting cast, such as the King and Privy
Council should double up as company (i.e., soldiers/villagers) as could Lady Sarah, Elizabeth and Jane, Herald, Servant, Priest and Abraham. There will need to be at least several soldiers to create any sense of presence and to satisfy the vocal parts). A few children in the chorus would be appropriate.