The opening night of Joanna Carrick’s “ The Ungodly” was nothing short of a masterclass in theatre.

From the discretely flexible stage set and design, the capsule characters of the storyline and - last but not least - superbly strong acting. 

A small cast of four, stand out charisma between the husband and wife Richard and Susan (played by Christopher Ashman and Nadia Jackson) at the heart of the play.

We see their gradual change from playful, joyous cynics as regards all things witchcraft to their descent to complicit  players. It is as heart-breaking as it is powerful.

Mathew Hopkins, the self styled Witch Finder General (played by Vincent Moisey) is an electric performance.

He goes from stuttering, sheltered adolescent  to ice cold, closed, vocal, zealot and murderer.

East Anglian Daily Times: Vincent Moisey as Mathew Hopkins in The Ungodly.Vincent Moisey as Mathew Hopkins in The Ungodly. (Image: Red Rose Chain)

He creates the narrative and credence is given to his interpretation of tragic existing circumstances - luring the infinitely fragile, ignorant and malleable young Rebecca West  (played by Rei Mordue) to compromise not only herself but her whole support group.

The Ungodly illustrates  how the momentum of views in an echo chamber allows perverted ideas to take on significance and truth out of kilter with reality.  

As relevant and alarming for today possibly when polarisation of views generated by injudicious use of social media creates a a similar false truth.

Applause also to Matt Penson for his atmospheric original music which acted as an invisible cloak to the production.

Katy Frost’s costumes were beautifully considered and a compliment to the stage set without distracting from the words - a hard thing to achieve.

This production is as worthy as any West End Production. It is reminiscent of Arthur Miller's  The Crucible but easier to digest. 

Above all it is a production where all aspects complemented each other.

The Avenue Theatre is comfortable, accessible and in the round. That allows for an up close and personal connection to the actors.  

In all, it is a must-see, slick  and thought provoking production. Bravo to Joanna Carrick and producer David Newborn.  


Tracy Gleeson