Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch has announced the world premiere of Beth Underdown’s chilling and creepy tale of Essex witch hunts, The Witchfinder’s Sister.
Based on the true story of the infamous witchfinder Matthew Hopkins, with one of the most memorable heroines in recent historical fiction, the production will be playing in Hornchurch from October 7-30.
This spellbinding and haunting historical thriller was Beth Underdown’s debut novel, a Richard and Judy Book Club pick and winner of the Historical Writers’ Association Debut Crown Award 2017.
The theatre has commissioned Vickie Donoghue, an acclaimed playwright from Thurrock, to adapt the novel for the stage. Vickie was recently one of three Essex creatives commissioned by Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch to develop a Creative Estuary co-commission, Tales from the Thames.
Set in 1645, The Witchfinder’s Sister follows the story of Alice Hopkins, who comes home to Manningtree to live with her brother after her husband is tragically killed. But home is no longer a place of safety, as rumours of witchcraft spread through the town. Alice discovers her brother much changed, as a reign of hysterical terror takes hold. Alice begins a desperate race to reveal what’s compelling the obsessively cruel Witchfinder General, before more innocent women are found guilty.
Playing Bridget is Debra Baker (Russell T Davies’ It’s a Sin, Channel 4), with Miracle Chance as Grace George Kemp as Matthew, Lily Knight as Alice (Saint Maud, Film 4), Jamie-Rose Monk as Mary and Anne Odeke as Rebecca.