The Welkin

Lucy Kirkwood, The Welkin

German translation by Corinna Brocher

In March 1759, a convicted murderer fights for her life in a small village on the east coast of England. Sally Poppy is accused by her husband of murdering a girl with her lover. When her death sentence is announced, she claims to be pregnant — in which case the execution would have to be suspended. Twelve women from the village, who have already given birth to at least one child, are appointed as a “matron jury” to determine or rule out the pregnancy. In a legal system that is alien and hostile to them, the women reluctantly and involuntarily search for the truth, while a mob rages outside that wants to see Sally Poppy hang.

Another event concerns the villagers: the appearance of a bright comet approaching Earth at intervals of 74 to 79 years. All eyes turn to the sky in anticipation – and away from the female body, which is the site of investigation and a battlefield between right and wrong. British playwright Lucy Kirkwood has written a compelling, precise court drama for an almost exclusively female ensemble. Her historical plot is scattered with current references, connecting the two periods. “It is about how democracy works, what it means to cast a vote, and how to gain agency within existing structures” (Lucy Kirkwood).

Director Jette Steckel

Stage Florian Lösche

Costumes Andrea Schraad

Music Mark Badur

Choreography Dominika Knapik

Dramaturgy Anika Steinhoff

Lighting Matthias Vogel

Choir Direction Benedikt Reidenbach

Bonnet electronics Johann Wucherpfennig

Photos Arno Declair

German premiere: 12 November 2022


Kathleen Morgeneyer – Sally Poppy, the murderer

Maren Egger – Elizabeth Luke, the midwife

Leila Abdullah – Judith Bewer, the jury of mothers

Lena Bruckner – Peg Carter, the jury of mothers

Karin Neuhauser – Charlotte Cary, the jury of mothers

Elli Treptow – Kitty Givens, the jury of mothers

Almuta Zilcher – Sarah Hollis, the jury of mothers

Birgit Unterweger – Emma Jenkins, the jury of mothers

Linda Poppel  – Ann Lavender, the jury of mothers

Anja Schneider – Helen Ludlow, the jury of mothers

Birte Schnöink – Mary Middleton, the jury of mothers

Dominika Knapik – Hannah Rusted, the jury of mothers

Urszula Werner – Sarah Smith, the jury of mothers

Manuel Hardera – Mr. Coombs, Bailiff

Enno Trebs – Frederick Poppy, the husband / Mr. Willis, the doctor

Livia Mello Wagner, Ylvie Wolff  – Katy Luke, daughter of the midwife

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