Jane Wenham – reviews

An elder woman in ragged clothes and a bandana from the shoulders and up, next to an old fashioned street lantern

The “heartbreaking”, “infinitely watchable” Amanda Bellamy as Jane Wenham

Responses to Jane Wenham – The Witch of Walkern

(Missed the play? Buy the script!)

“A heady brew of sex and sorcery… Ria Parry’s wonderfully spare and atmospheric production – beautifully designed by James Button – ratchets up the drama as Lenkiewicz throws religion, fear, intolerance, prejudice and a headless chicken into the pot”
Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

“A shrewd and compelling play”
Paul Taylor, The Independent

“Rebecca Lenkiewicz’ powerful new play… Amanda Bellamy is infinitely watchable as the herb-gathering sage Jane Wenham, a shambling bolshy woman you could imagine hawking joss sticks at music festivals 300 years on… The real magic comes from the play’s thick fug of atmosphere, heavy as bonfire smoke and just as eye-stinging”
Alice Saville, Time Out

“Conjures a thickening atmosphere of suspicion, desire and dark wonderment… Lenkiewicz laces her recipe with potent eroticism, racism and misogyny [and] scathingly attacks class and economic inequality: the rich are rarely accused and with the spectacle of a convicted woman’s hanging drawing eager crowds, there is profit to be made from persecution … A flavourfull brew”
Sam Marlowe, The Times

“Lenkiewicz’s script is fascinating and finely wrought… Amanda Bellamy is heartbreaking and very real as Jane Wenham, angry and fiercely independent until the end”
Daisy Bowie-Sell Whatsonstage.com

“Amanda Bellamy shines as Wenham… A fascinating piece of history skilfully brought to life”
Griselda Murray Brown, Financial Times

“From the moment the lights went down and the haunting music bellowed I was on the edge of my seat… Rebecca Lenkiewicz has done a brilliant job dramatizing Wenham’s story, which is fantastically directed by Ria Parry”
Katy Griffin, Salisbury Journal

“As you’d expect from Out of Joint, the personal politics of the piece are consistently interesting… This is an outstandingly intelligent and deeply felt drama, written with great clarity, complexity, and also with an ear for some of the rhythms and cadences of early 18th-century English. The psychology of the characters is well worked out and the storytelling is bold and beautiful… A fascinating evening that stimulates both the heart and mind.”
Aleks Sierz

“Raw and otherworldly, this dark play is masterfully brought to life… The whole cast brilliantly encapsulates a town under the thumb of their own fear”
Holly Casey, A Younger Theatre

“Driven by lust and fear, Lenkiewicz’s characters are deep and engaging, successfully drawing the audience into the tale and provoking sickening fascination… In all, a darkly excellent exploration of historical England.”
Thomas Davidson, The Upcoming

“Its unnerving sense of dread keeps audiences on the edge of their seats until the end. Brilliant.”
Andrew Clarke, East Anglian Daily Times

“An excellent ensemble cast give strong performances in a powerful story that, like Arthur Miller’s mid-20th century classic The Crucible, poses the big questions about truth and lies, blame and guilt and the importance of tolerance and humanity. Never have those messages been more relevant”
Yvette Huddlestone, Yorkshire Post

“Brilliantly acted, particularly by those actors playing more than one part… A very engaging look at witchcraft and women’s lives”
Jennifer Evans, Early Modern Medicine 


 

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