Rural Suffolk, 1759. As the country waits for Halley’s comet, Sally Poppy is sentenced to hang for a heinous murder.
When she claims to be pregnant, a jury of 12 matrons are taken from their housework to decide whether she’s telling the truth, or simply trying to escape the noose.
With only midwife Lizzy Luke prepared to defend the girl, and a mob baying for blood outside, the matrons wrestle with their new authority, and the devil in their midst.
Maxine Peake struggles to make the voice of reason heard in feminist history play
A visceral experience
Twelve bickering, bantering women must determine an accused murderer’s pregnancy claim in this admirable drama
Maxine Peake stars in Lucy Kirkwood's headily ambitious and richly textured history play
A brilliant, brave, bold and intelligent three hours
Ria Zmitrowicz burns up the stage in Lucy Kirkwood’s genre-defying period drama
Lucy Kirkwood's messy but significant work has a gutsy audacity
So many distinctive female voices, so beautifully designed, but a little bit like childbirth
Too many characters compete for our attention
A confident play full of shining moments
Kirkwood has written the kind of meaty, witty, bountifully charactered play that deserves to become a curriculum mainstay
This play felt over-long while also leaving me wanting to know more about some of the women on the stage
The intention and ambition here is noble but this production could better serve its subject matter with a shorter, sharper and less laborious delivery
Although I admired the play and director James Macdonald’s production, I didn’t feel sufficiently enthused to want to see it again
Stylish, sharp and shouldn’t be missed