A sixteenth century witch trial is reimagined in a new digital work or film ‘The Ockendon Witch’ premiering on YouTube at 8pm Tuesday 25 August 2020.
The making of this latest piece of lockdown theatre based on a new short play by writer Richard Margrave is supported by Stronger Together Arts, Culture & Heritage Fund in Thurrock, Essex that with small grants has kept over a dozen artistes and theatre makers creating during the pandemic, delivering projects readily accessible to the community in this period of restricted activities.
The premiere includes an interactive digital element where the viewer can vote as to the verdict of the trial.
Richard Margrave, Writer and Executive Producer of The Ockendon Witch, says:
“The trial of Agnes Byllinge from South Ockendon in Essex was real, and potentially deadly, with many women in those times scapegoated and accused of witchcraft.
“The Stronger Together Fund is to be applauded for acting fast in the pandemic to support local artistes with funding to make work and ensure it is accessible digitally to a local community with restricted opportunities for entertainment.
“The actors staged this piece from their own homes and with the witchcraft of editing we are transported back to Tudor Essex.
“The piece brings to life a forgotten story with real parallels with today, delivering drama as well as education with a digital programme and education resource online and an interactive vote at the end.”
TITLE: The Ockendon Witch
DURATION: 33 minutes
PREMIERE: 8pm, YouTube, Tuesday 25th August 2020
AVAILABLE UNTIL: After the premiere it will be available for viewing on the same page until midnight on 8th September.
PREMIERE LOCATION: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MINoe63k-Is
PROGRAMME & DIGITAL RESOURCE: www.theockendonwitch.com
COST: Free of charge. All actors were paid.
FUNDED BY: Stronger Together Arts, Culture and Heritage Fund, Thurrock
LOGLINE: It’s 1584 and Agnes Byllinge of South Ockendon, Essex, has been brought before a virtual court facing accusations of witchcraft and incest. The threat to her is serious, and deadly. Will she defy the odds or find herself hanging by the neck until life is extinct?
SUMMARY: Based on the real trials of Agnes Byllinge, this digital piece imagines how things might have unfolded if by some witchcraft it was conducted virtually during a sixteenth century plague lockdown. Animals are dying, people have suffered inexplicable illnesses and Agnes is to blame, or so the villagers claim. Then there is the unusual relationship with her son. Is she guilty of witchcraft and incest, or is she merely a scapegoat? You decide…
Agnes Byllinge – Jennifer Aries
Judith Foster – Libby Rodliffe
Humphrey Frith – Dickon Farmar
Roger Nowell JP – Christopher Sherwood
Music performed by Lauren Joyanne Morris
Written and Executive Produced by Richard Margrave
Directed, Produced and Edited by Christopher Sherwood