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Last Witch, The

Dornoch, northern Scotland, 1727. In the claustrophobic summer heat, one woman’s apparent ability to manipulate the natural world stirs suspicion and fear. Can Janet Horne reallycure beasts, summon the wind, and charm fish out of the sea? Or is she simply able to make others think she can?  Read more …

In this harsh Highland wilderness, which barely rewards those who work the land, it is men - landowners, ministers, sheriffs - who hold the power. A lone woman with an independent mind is an affront to that male order. The possibility that she may be in league with the Devil makes her very dangerous indeed.

When a charge of witchcraft is laid against Janet, her refusal to deny (or admit) her guilt means a confrontation with the new sheriff, Captain Ross - a man with many secrets. A man who finds Janet both disturbing and strangely alluring. A man who wields the power of life and death over not just Janet, but also her daughter, Helen.

A rich, poetic tale full of ambiguity and suspense, The Last Witch reimagines the true story of the alleged Witch of Dornoch. Did Janet Horne actually practise witchcraft? Or was she was a charismatic, free-thinking woman, ahead of her time?

The critical consensus

Chilling, humorous, teeming with life, Baron and his cast movingly convey the ever-present threat of prejudice in a community.

****(*)Joy Watters, Across the Arts

Faultless performances make this hotly-anticipated revival of Rona Munro’s play worth the wait.

****(*)Mary-Ann Connolly, The Wee Review, 29/08/2018

Memorable, gripping and beautifully-crafted.

****(*)Joyce McMillan, The Scotsman, 01/09/2018

Horne’s story seemed not only inherently dramatic, but also given to bleak poetry. Yet, Munro’s play appeared to have contrived to denude the tale of much of its power and moral weight.

Mark Brown, Scottish Stage, 19/09/2018

Baron provides an ideal balance of the concrete and the uncanny in this production. Davis is beguiling throughout, and she receives strong support from Rankine, Wood, Helen Logan as a supportive neighbour and the rest of the seven-strong ensemble.

****(*)Allan Radcliffe, 18/09/2018

With such passionate performances from the entire cast and a rich, poetic script, The Last Witch is a must-see.

****(*)Natalie O'Donoghue, Broadway World, 01/11/2018

I have seen Firebrand productions before and this is another very good one.

****(*)Alan Brown, Edinburgh 49, 09/11/2018

I had shivers when I left, but I’m not was from the rain coming down outside the Traverse.

****(*)Erin Roche, Edinburgh Guide, 11/11/2018

Richard Baron has taken Munro’s work and fashioned a spellbinding thriller with intense performances and impressive visuals that make it hard to fault.

****(*)Stephanie Allard, Review Sphere, 10/11/2018

While apparently telling of a disappeared world, its evocations of fears, suspicions and power imbalances are worryingly contemporary.

****(*)Hugh Simpson, All Edinburgh Theatre, 09/11/2018

The pyre staked, crows cry out for vengeance, Munro reminds us that evil is not found in dancing with the devil but with those concealed behind silver buttons and smiles.

****(*)Dominic Corr, The Reviews Hub, 09/11/2018

Where and when?

Pitlochry Festival Theatre, Pitlochry from Thursday August 23, 2018, until Thursday October 11, 2018. More info:

Tron Theatre, Glasgow from Tuesday October 30, 2018, until Saturday November 3, 2018. More info:

Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh from Wednesday November 7, 2018, until Saturday November 10, 2018. More info:

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