Review: Women, Beware The Devil, Almeida Theatre
Women, Beware The Devil at the Almeida Theatre is a difficult play to pin down.
It starts in the modern day with the 'literal' devil (Nathan Armarkwei-Laryea) breaking the fourth wall to lament how he isn't evoked or blamed for anything anymore. He also cheekily spoils the plot of the play.
We are then catapulted to the 17th century to the home of Lady Elizabeth (Lydia Leonard) and her brother Edward (Leo Bill).
It's a castle, literally and figuratively. For Elizabeth, it's a place which represents family and tradition but also somewhere she has some agency as an unmarried woman.
However, the cost of repairs is crippling the family finances, and Edward has no inclination to marry the rich and beautiful Katherine (Ioanna Kimbook) that Elizabeth has lined up. Katherine comes from new money rather than the gentry and is too easy for Edward - he prefers the maids.
So Elizabeth turns to Agnes (Alison Oliver), about whom rumours of witchcraft swirl. While the house's maids live in fear of witches and don't trust Agnes, Elizabeth sees an opportunity to solve a problem.
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