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‘Call Me Fury’: Witchy Women at The Hope Theatre

Call Me FuryThe Crucible, Who tells women’s stories? What fears and aversions do their stories convey? How do their stories affect our lives? And how can we retell them for a modern audience? These are the questions that Sasha Wilson asks us in told from a feminist perspective this time, is important. Admittedly, this did not feel necessary for a generally progressive North London audience. Throughout the play, Wilson seemed more interested in proving the retelling's worth through speeches on the nature of womanhood, rather than convincing feminist reinterpretations of characters and plot., through her retelling of the Salem witch trials. Wilson starts by attempting to convince the audience that this adapted version of Miller's

Photographs by David Spence

Strong, chilling moments prevailed with Mairi Hawthorn as Abigail, as she screamed about the fear instilled in her by the death of her parents. Emotionally resonant speeches also made the audience question their own connections to these women from long ago. The musical accompaniment was also fantastic, with the cast covers of Civil Wars, amongst other folk songs, creating rich emotional moments and a strong rural tone. However, without a convincing storyline to hold them up, these moments where robbed of a lot of their power.

Again, the acting was brilliant, but a lot of time the script felt monologic and didn't involve enough interaction between characters. There was little build up of relationships. All the insight we got into the characters was told to us rather than shown through their actions. The speaking time of the actors also seemed incredibly unbalanced, something that didn't really work for a play in which all the characters seemed to be of equal importance and were on stage for equal amounts of time. A particular technique, in which one character acted the scene whilst another spoke their lines was particularly grating and unnecessary.

Call me Fury left me thinking about women's place in society, women's voices, and women's lives. It asked all the questions it set out to ask, and left them on the right level of open-ended to allow the audience room to think about their own lives. But in the end, it felt too much like an essay on women's rights and not enough like a story. The points about women's position in society could have been better expressed through plot rather than monologue-like speeches, that despite being emotive, felt static. Whilst I enjoyed the acting, music and politics of the production, I just felt like there was not much plot to latch onto.

Edited by Alexia McDonald, Digital Editor

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