Being part of Witchfinder

Photo by Mark Wenham

10 year old Iris shares her thoughts about what it was like to be part of the junior community chorus for Witchfinder at Walpole Old Chapel

What made you want to get involved in Witchfinder?

I love singing and when I heard the story for Witchfinder I thought it sounded really interesting. I love history.

Did you know about the story of Matthew Hopkins already? What do you think about this part of East Anglia’s history?

I didn’t know anything about Matthew Hopkins but I think his story is very interesting. I did know that there were witch hunters back then but I didn’t know that there was one in East Anglia. I think it’s incredibly sad that all those innocent people got killed; however, I think it’s an important and fascinating part of East Anglia’s history.

What skills do you think you developed whilst rehearsing and performing Witchfinder?

I think it developed my harmony-singing skills, it helped me learn to stay in character the entire time, and I learnt to really appreciate the space I was performing in.

What was it like performing in Walpole Old Chapel?

I absolutely loved performing in Walpole Old Chapel! It was so atmospheric and it was amazing to think that Matthew Hopkins might have actually gone to places like this! I also really enjoyed having the audience above us. 

What were the best things about being part of Witchfinder?

I loved singing and rehearsing with the professionals, and seeing the way they changed from themselves into their character. I really liked the songs and I also just really liked watching the show and being part of it. It was very exciting seeing it all come together. 

Were any parts of it challenging?

It was quite hard learning the melodies but to be honest I picked up the words to the songs pretty quickly.

And finally, do you think there are any lessons that we could learn from the Witchfinder story?

I think we can learn not to judge people or treat them horribly just because they’re different. We should stand up to powerful people when we think they’re doing something wrong, and shouldn’t always believe what they tell us. Also, if something goes wrong, don’t blame it on other people.