04 March 2023
4.0 out of 5.0 stars
La Voisin tells the story of Catherine Monvoisin, a fortune teller, sorceress, and professional poisoner in Paris, France, in the late seventeenth century. It is told through the voice of Nicholas de la Reynie, the chief of police, who is piecing together the Affair of the Poisons to accuse and prosecute the women responsible. Accusations ranged from poisonings of numerous victims to sorcery, and reached into the inner circle of King Louis XIV. Subsequently, over 30 of the accused were executed, while many others were sentenced to harsh punishments.
The show is told through three women taking on many different roles, and one man who leads the women in what parts of the story need to be re-enacted. It is a fast-paced piece that still manages to delve into details and create vivid characterisations of the women in question.
Throughout the show, de la Reynie becomes more and more agitated, shouting and directing the women more harshly, telling them how to tell the story. The intensity and harshness with which the women are treated is palpable and underlines their position in late 1600s Paris.
While it was presented as a Work In Progress, it was refined and beautifully presented, intense and touching, with a fantastic crescendo at the very end shaking viewers to their core.
Empowering and powerful, this energetic play is definitely one to keep an eye out for!