A Level Drama and Theatre Studies students at Nelson and Colne College Sixth Form have been bewitching audiences with their devised productions based on the theme of Pendle Witches – 1612.

Drama and Theatre Studies at Nelson and Colne College is a highly successful course, which aims to help aspiring thespians to gain an insight into both the practical and theoretical aspects of theatre. In previous years, students of the course have gone on to enjoy great success at university and their later careers and this year, the College was thrilled to learn of the success of one of its former A Level Drama and Theatre Studies students, Thomas Pickles, who secured a job with the Royal Shakespeare Company, straight after completing his degree at top drama school Rose Bruford!

As part of their assessment, students on the course must work in groups to create their own devised performance. This year, the students were given the theme of ‘Pendle Witches – 1612’ and they had to work together to create a play which would be an interpretation of this. With the 500th Anniversary of the Pendle Witches occurring this year, it seemed a fitting theme which would allow the students to bewitch their audience! The students had to carry out research and construct the plays, using their experience of other playwrights and dramatic techniques.

The first group named their performance, “The Case of Jennet Devize” and the cast featured William Sharpe, Rheannon Davies, Zoe Allen and Kamil Turecki. The second group devised a play called “Jennet’s Story” and the cast was George Johnston, Laura Reaney, Kerryann Farmer, Lauren Gibson and Toni Sutcliffe-Whyte.

Drama and Theatre Studies tutor, Lesley Playfer said, “The students have been very enthusiastic about this project and having carried out extensive research both groups decided to focus on Jennet Devize, the child whose evidence condemned her family to death. The groups took very different approaches to the story, exploring possible explanations for Jennet’s actions though narrative and physical theatre approaches. There was an excellent response from the audience, who seemed to appreciate a fresh approach to a familiar story and I was very pleased with the results.”