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Richard Shannon

Oberon Books

"Amy Leach’s economical, in-the-round production almost feels like a chamber version of Miller’s great play." [The Crucible] —The Guardian

“Profoundly engaging an ageless human story…Theatre stripped bare at its very best, and proof that female characters of any era can be commanding, complex and well written.” —Public Reviews

“A powerful and moving drama played by an excellent small cast.” —British Theatre Guide

Good Friday 1612. High on a hill in the wild and lawless area of Pendle, a secret meeting is held at Malkin Tower. By the end of the year, most of those present have been sentenced to death at Lancaster Castle - hanged for the crime of witchcraft.

This powerful play attempts to unravel the mysteries behind one of England’s most famous trials, that of the notorious Pendle Witches. Did Alice Nutter and the others really take part in a witches’ Sabbat? Or were these Pendle folk innocent victims at a time of persecution, paranoia and superstition? Sabbat imagines the events leading up to the trial and execution of The Lancashire Witches and asks: who held the real power behind the tightly closed doors of Pendle? How many lives were destroyed by laws born out of fear?

Richard Shannon is currently writing a new play about contemporary Iran. His credits as a writer include: Sabbat (to be revived for the 400th anniversary of the execution of the Pendle witches at the Duke’s Theatre, Lancaster in 2012) and The Lady of Burma (The story of Aung San Suu Kyi).The play premiered at the Old Vic in London and went on to the Edinburgh Festival 2007, ran in London at the Riverside Studios and toured nationally. The play is published by Oberon Modern Plays and has been performed in Poland, Bangalore and Norway. It opened in Mumbai in September 2010. Richard was Associate Director (New Work) at Polka Theatre for ten years. His productions at Polka include: Shouting, Stamping, Singing Home by Lisa Evans. In 2008, Richard directed a workshop production of Monster Under the Bed by Kevin Dyer at the New Visions/New Voices festival - the Kennedy Centre, Washington.

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