Sex, fear, religion and magic in Jane Wenham: The Witch of Walkern at the Everyman this Hallowe’en

THIS autumn the Everyman welcomes back Out of Joint for a gripping and haunting new play about sex, fear, religion and magic. Jane Wenham: The Witch of Walkern is written by BAFTA-winning writer Rebecca Lenkiewicz and is at the Hope Street venue from Tuesday 27 to Saturday 31 October. Set in Walkern in 1712 after decades free from witch hunts, Walkern’s cunning woman Jane Wenham is blamed for a tragic death – and charged with witchcraft. A terrifying ordeal begins, as the village is torn between those who want to save her life, and those who claim to want to save her soul. Inspired by events in a Hertfordshire village, the play is alive with the mysteries of nature, sex and the supernatural, and blasts society’s hunger to find – and create – witches. Inquisitive, epic, authentic and original, Out of Joint develop entertaining theatre that broadens horizons and investigates our times. Their most recent visit to Liverpool was at the Playhouse in April with Crouch, Touch, Pause, Engage, the story of Welsh rugby player Gareth Thomas facing up to tabloid threats to ‘out’ him as gay. Rebecca Lenkiewicz won a BAFTA this year for co-writing Ida, which also won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film. She won a Fringe First for her play Soho: A Tale of Table Dancers, and her plays The Night Season and Her Naked Skin both premiered at the National Theatre. The play is directed by Ria Parry whose productions include Mad About The Boy (Edinburgh Fringe and National Tour – Fringe First winner 2009), Caryl Churchill’s Fen at the Finborough Theatre, and Crush (Fringe First winner 2011). Out of Joint Artistic Director Max Stafford Clark said: “From Jane Wenham’s sad story, Rebecca has created a haunting and resonant play, rooted in history yet full of her own rich invention and I can’t wait to see it brought to the stage by Ria Parry.”