Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Sabbat returns to The Dukes

Nisa Cole (Jennet Device) and Robert Calvert (Roger Nowell)
in a scene from Sabbat. Photo courtesy The Dukes
The Dukes acclaimed Lancashire Witches drama – Sabbat – returns to Lancaster next week for its final performances after playing to thousands of people on tour.

Sabbat imagines the events leading up to the trial and execution of the Pendle Witches and asks how many lives were destroyed by laws born out of fear?

All four of the cast, including Lancaster’s own Christine Mackie, have received critical acclaim for their performances in this powerful drama.
Since its opening run at the Lancaster theatre, Sabbat has been performed in venues across the country including an historic house and London’s only permanent theatre in the round.

Touring is a rarity for The Dukes and The Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond is the closest to London any Dukes show has been presented.

Along with the four-strong cast, a team including a stage manager, assistant stage manager and senior technician, have been on the road throughout June and July.

And each of the four venues – Hoghton Tower near Preston;  The New Vic Theatre, Newcastle-Under-Lyme;  The Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond, Surrey; and The Muni Theatre, Colne - has posed different challenges.

It’s been months in the planning but touring Sabbat has been a special experience for all those involved: “We’re used to being the theatre that welcomes touring companies so we’ve enjoyed seeing it from the other side,” said John Newman-Holden, Dukes production and operations manager.

And touring Sabbat has enabled the story of the Lancashire Witch Trials  – which took place in Lancaster 400 years ago this August – to reach many people who knew little or nothing about them.

• Catch up with Sabbat  at The Dukes from 17th - 21st July. To book tickets, ring The Dukes box office on 01524 598500 or visit For more information and regular updates on the production, visit

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