A Shiny Life For Me!

a personal review blog by Bianca

Women, Beware The Devil

Women, Beware the Devil
10 March 2023
The Almeida
4.0 out of 5.0 stars

England, 1640. A war is brewing, rumours are flying, a household in crisis.

Women, Beware The Devil is an unexpectedly funny new play, with a very dark and sinister tone. Narrated by the devil himself, it’s a story of how far people are willing to go to protect what is dear to them. When Lady Elizabeth feels her home and family legacy are under threat, she elicits the help of young servant Agnes, rumoured to be practising witchcraft. Elizabeth pushes the young girl to commit horrible acts to secure the safety of the family home and reputation, but Agnes has dark desires of her own.

As the story unfolds, the gorgeously simple set really aids in bringing the beautiful estate home to life, with a steep vanishing point aesthetic, dark wood panelling, a black and white chequered floor, and high, backlit windows, it’s an appealing, elegant set that frames the action beautifully. The light-up frame at the back separates the large hall from the darkened backdrop, making it feel like the hall is much larger and more imposing than it really is.

The story is very well spun, slowly revealing more atrocious details of this sordid family, that Lady Elizabeth is desperately trying to keep alive and relevant. All overshadowed with the alluring estate that draws deep feelings of desire and need for preservation from the Lady and Agnes herself.

There are gory and intense scenes accompanying the dark story, but humour is woven throughout very subtly, making it easy to empathise with Agnes despite her allegiance with the devil.

A fantastic new play that I am very glad I got to see at the Almeida.

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