Call Me Fury

Sasha Wilson
Out of the Forest Theatre
Vault (Pit) Leake Street

Mairi Hawthorn Credit: Will Alder
Silvana Maimone Credit: Will Alder
Andrea Black Credit: Will Alder
Sasha Wilson Credit: Will Alder

Look online at the long list of women executed for witchcraft. It is estimated that in just Europe and the American colonies, 50,000 people were killed for the supposed crime. Yet most of us went through an education system that didn’t mention these atrocities inflicted mainly on women.

Sasha Wilson’s play Call Me Fury gives us a glimpse of some of their stories, centring on the Salem witch trials of the 1690s made famous by Arthur Miller’s The Crucible.

There is Tituba (Silvana Maimone) from Central America owned as a slave by the religious minister Samuel Parris initially working on his plantation and then later taken to Salem. Beaten until she confessed to being a witch, she is later sold to pay for the costs of her imprisonment.

Every so often, the play gives us an example of women in other parts of the world cruelly abused as a witch. We see Catrina, her body covered in bruises, confessing in court that she was raped by the Devil in her prison cell. Standing nearby, saying nothing about the event, is the gaoler. Such a quiet Devil it must have been!

In an always engaging show (it had me debating it for hours afterwards), there are fine performances from the four women actors, whether they are playing the many characters, or singing the occasional moving folk song accompanied by violin or sung a capella.

The recorded histories of the Salem trials have nothing much to say about most of those executed. They were regarded as not important enough to be remembered. Even now, America is uncertain if it should exonerate them.

Students still emerge from an education system knowing more about kings and presidents than they do about the thousands of women brutally murdered as witches that do not exist. They should come see this play.

Reviewer: Keith Mckenna

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