When it comes to historical drama, Red Rose Chain excel. This is proven once more with the latest production of a brand new play, The Ungodly, which centres around the true story of Matthew Hopkins, self-appointed Witchfinder General.
Red RoseChain Artistic Director, Wanna Carrick, is amazing when it comes to these kind of stories and with this latest work she has carried out extensive research to uncover some of the unknown parts of Matthew Hopkins life and possible reasons for his relentless pursuit of the witches of East Anglia.
Of particular interest to Suffolk audiences is Hopkins lived at in there Mistley-Manningtree areas just a stones-throw from Ipswich. I like many others had though of Hopkins as a much older man but he was barely out of his teens, in fact he died before he was thirty.
The times of the mid 17th Century was one of Civil War, superstition and a surge of Puritanism. In trying to explain what may have led the young Matthew to pursue these women who were different and therefore treated with suspicion, Carrick turns to tragic events within his own family.
When something bad happens we want explanation, we want a reason, something to blame and this can, in some cases perhaps send us up the wrong roads, maybe to the door of someone who is actually guilty because they said something in anger?
The story of loss of babies is the catalyst that may well have started the persecution of a group of women who were guilty of maybe only being different.
An excellent cast bring an already compelling story to life in a dark but very fascinating way.
Once more Red Rose Chain have done what they do best, produced brilliant theatre, this is a must see.
Review: Mark Keable, Ipswich24 Magazine
Picture: Bill Jackson