Birth Witches

Written by:

Jennifer Fawcett

Cast Size:
22

Roles For:

  • Men: 10
  • Women: 12

Genre:

Drama

Themes:

Health
Politics
Pregnancy
Religion
Science
Scotland
Superstition
Witchcraft

Length:

120 min.

Year Written:

2012

Synopsis:

England, 1606: the witch craze has come to London. Superstition, science, religion and politics all meet in the birthing room where accusations of witchcraft overturn hundreds of years of tradition as the new male doctors fight to replace the old female midwives. Birth Witches explores the ongoing battle over the politics of birth, from the past through to the present day (From the CPO Website)

Characters:

BRIDGET – Peter’s mother and the Doctor’s wife, dies in childbirth, later seen as a statue of “Mother and Child”, Scottish, 18 / MARY – Bridget’s sister, Scottish, 16 (can be doubled with Agnes) / OLD MIDWIFE – illiterate, distrustful, of an older world, 60’s, but seems older / PRIEST – an Anglican Priest who becomes the Archdeacon, 60’s / DOCTOR – Scottish, a lover of science, ruthless, 30’s – 40’s / PETER – the Doctor’s son, his face is deformed with scars, a gravedigger who wants to be a doctor, 18 / MEG – adopted granddaughter of the Old Midwife, servant to Agnes, wants to be a healer, 16 / AGNES – a Baroness, niece of the Priest, nine months pregnant, 20’s / CHORUS OF FINE GENTLEMEN FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF MEDICINE – Who in turn play: THEOPHRASTRUS BOMBAST VON HOHENHEIM, BARBER SURGEON and various QUACKS / KING, QUEEN, NURSE / FIRST WITCH, SECOND WITCH, THIRD WITCH / POOR MOTHER / FIRST WOMAN, SECOND WOMAN / INQUISITOR

First Produced:

2013, Riverside Theatre

Resources:

Birth Witches is available through the CPO Website.

To view other works by this playwright, click here.

Notes:

ATCA/Steinberg New Play Award Nominee, 2013

Visit the playwright’s website here.

Gallery: