I was asked to stage a short scene from an obscure 17th century play – The Witches of Lancashire by Thomas Heywood & Richard Brome – for inclusion in a BBC 4 documentary called Pendle Witch being produced by Wingspan Productions.
Simple one might think…
However the scene included the transformation of two greyhounds into a woman and a small boy, followed by the boy turning into a horse. The filming was due to take place in the open air at The Scoop in London on a busy sunday afternoon. This afternoon.
The Witches of Lancashire is not a great play, it is certainly not The Crucible. This is a ribald romp with songs and dances written to capitalise on a witch trial. Witch trials were seen as a great opportunity to make money by 17th century entrepreneurs.
We filmed it five times, and everyone seemed happy. I particularly liked breaking 2 rules on the same day by working with both children and animals.