The Wonderful Discovery of Witches in the County of Lancaster
Following the 2016 UK tour of The Man Who Would Be King Dawn State Theatre Company returns with a spellbinding new play inspired by the true story of Britain’s bloodiest witch-hunt.
It’s 1618, and magistrates Potts and Nowell are on a mission to arm their hard-working countrymen against a plague of devilish outsiders. For years their chief weapon has been Jennet Device, youngest of the Pendle Witches, the girl whose testimony condemned her entire family to the noose. But now Jennet has grown up, her eyes are starting to open, and tonight, heads will roll.
The haunting story of the Pendle Witches is perhaps the most notorious witch-hunt in Britain’s history. After a whirlwind investigation twelve innocent Lancastrians found themselves accused and facing the death penalty.
They might have survived had it not been for the testimony of the seven-year-old Jennet Device, who calmly stood up in court and denounced all twelve; including her own mother, sister and brother. In a land riven with fears of Catholic conspiracy the trial became a model for the apprehension and conviction of witches, and set the precedent of child testimony used in the Salem witch trials some eighty years later.
Dawn State’s thrilling new play digs down into this dark chapter of our past to create a heart-breaking story of power, fear and corruption that will tour to rural venues in autumn 2018.
“Chilling and heart-breaking” The Scotsman
British Theatre Guide “A brilliant return from a fantastic upcoming company”