Bitchcraft | Review

DyraCtXX0AA03AU.jpg

We were excited to be invited to the four-day run of Bitchcraft at the Tristan Bates Theatre.

Bitchcraft - written by one of the actors Nkhanise Phiri in 2015 and performed as a student theatre show at the University of Warwick. The play has since been developed and is now having another run following winning the pandora award at the Melanin box festival (2018). This production centred around 5 black witches discovering what it means to be a black woman who possesses power.

The play follows their journey as they live in an abandoned warehouse trying to practice their powers and keeping themselves safe from the Black Witch Police who are after them. Themes such as mental health, religion, identity, sexuality and family were weaved throughout the narrative, brought to the forefront during the interactions with the characters. Each persona had their own backstory - a reason to be on the run. Pain and rejection was the single thread that weaved their pasts together, a forceful energy that they turn into resilience.

As great as it was that the production aims to focus on many sensitive and important themes, there just simply was not enough time to explore them thoroughly. If this play was possibly written in two parts, there would of been enough focus to hear the individual witches’ journeys and how they came to be.

What this play is definitely not short of though, was Black Girl Magic. Weaved not only into the interactions, but also the musical choices of the play. This play is perfect for an adolescent audience, one who would relish in seeing faces just like theirs on the stage.

Well done girls!

- Anu + Donya