Brouhaha, Witch Hunt

Review in Issue 12-2 | Summer 2000

What is a witch? Whether simpleton, seductress or sorcerer, the only solution is to tame her, by fair means or fowl. Brouhaha’s new show Witch Hunt is a play about witches – wise, wily and wanton women. The company usually write their own material, but have this time commissioned playwright Laura Bridgeman. The result is a production different from their usual style, though it shares common themes and devices.

Never ones to shirk the real issues of sexual politics, Brouhaha use Witch Hunt to investigate the contradictions and complications in female relationships. They do this with the customary verbal humour and robust physical performances that have made previous shows The Opium Eaters and Well, Farewell so successful. Witch Hunt shares with those productions a strong scenographic approach that places visual design at the core of the work. The usual Brouhaha scenario of female characters trapped in a confined space – whether caravan-dwelling ladies of the night or bed-ridden hospital inmates – is exchanged for a ‘quest’ story, as Allison Cologna as the brazen boozer Ezeel and Jane Guemier as the deranged visionary Bub form an odd alliance with witch-hunter Dr. Fruit (Catherine Marmier). The two female characters are played with verve and conviction, but I was left puzzled by Dr. Fruit, finding it hard to suspend disbelief and accept him/her as a mad torturer.

However, Witch Hunt works for the most part. That it doesn’t have quite the power of the last production is almost inevitable in light of the success of Well, Farewell which was one of the best examples of physical theatre, visual design and brilliant dialogue merged in one show – a hard act to follow.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Mar 2000

This article in the magazine

Issue 12-2
p. 27