REVIEW: THE WITCH’S MARK (Vaults Festival) ★★★

The Witch's Mark The Vaults

Scottish playwright brings eerie play The Witch’s Mark to the Vaults Theatre Festival

The Witch’s Mark is Scottish playwright Timothy N. Evers‘s latest piece, being show as part of the Vaults Festival in London. The creepy chamber setting and smell of cold stone is perfect for an eerie play about witch trials.

Set the night before Agnes Sampson’s execution in 1591, we hear the tale of how she was tortured, beaten and forced to confess her guilt of witchcraft which she may or may not have actually been guilty of. The devil lurks in the shadows of her prison cell but will she agree to sell her soul to him or refuse to give him what he so desperately wants.

Australian born Celeste Markwell gives a gritty and captivating performance in this one hour monologue. Her Scottish accent is nothing short of impressive and I was surprised to learn that she is not in fact from the land of the Loch Ness Monster.

The silent role of what is assumed to be the devil is played by an uncredited actor, perhaps to stress the point that he may have just been a figment of her imagination but it was a shame to not see him acknowledged somewhere for the performance. His movement and facial expressions helped to tell the story and whilst in some ways he seemed to not have a great deal to do in the show, it did help add layers to the piece by having him there.

At times I lost concentration and wasn’t really sure what was happening but there is certainly something enjoyable about this play. The Shakespearian language and thick Scottish accent were hard to handle combined and I longed for some break out scenes with a more modern day feel to help split the monologue up and keep concentration levels in the audience.

The Witch’s Mark is a brilliant concept for a show and the Vaults is the perfect venue for it. However it isn’t an easy show to watch and it could benefit from perhaps being a conversation of sorts between the two characters.

Reviewed by West End Wilma