The Witches of Eastwick
The Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton – 2006
In the small New England town of Eastwick, Rhode Island, live three unhappy divorcees (our not-so-wicked witches) – Alexandra Spofford, Jane Smart and Sukie Rougemont – much to the chagrin of the town’s self-appointed first citizen, Felicia Gabriel. Failed sculptress Alexandra is concerned with her teenaged son, Michael and his romance with Felicia’s college-bound daughter, Jennifer, Uptight music teacher Jane is grappling with her divorce from her purportedly gay husband. And Sukie is troubled over her tedious affair with Clyde, Felicia’s husband and editor of the paper where Sukie works.
One stormy night, over a heady brew of brownies and weak martinis, they wish for their perfect man. In no time at all, the town’s legendary Lenox House is bought and its grounds ecologically disfigured by a stranger from New York City – one Darryl Van Horne. Sweeping into town atop a wave of gossip, the charismatic newcomer makes a sardonic case for small-town living.
One night, not long after Van Horne whisks Alexandra away to his ocean-side manse, romancing repulsing and chiding her for failing to see the beauty in herself. As Jane practises her ‘cello the next evening, Darryl comes to call, violin in hand. Playing a duet with her, he unleashes the passion both in her music and her soul.
Two down, one left.
The following day, Van Horne intrudes upon Sukie’s home, questioning her seeming inability to finish a sentence. He remedies the problem. If the three women are initially jealous when they discover that Darryl has been dividing his attentions between them, magic and sensuality soon win the day – and the night.
Eastwick is awash with rumours of Van Horne and his veritable harem. Rallying her troops, Felicia sends Jennifer off to college early, getting her safely away from Alexandra’s son, Michael, and the carnal insanity that has gripped their little town.
On their way to the Lenox House, the three women reflect upon both their childhood dreams and their recent transformations. Darryl, watching them, marvels at his handiwork. Once arrived, they use a charmed cookie jar, cursing Felicia with a variety of objects – tennis balls, bracelets, feathers – which come flying out of her mouth. Enraptured and enamored, the three witches are sent sailing into the New England skies.
Months have passed. And if Felicia and her cronies have only grown more single-minded in their pursuits, so has Alexandra.
With the whole of the United States between them, Michael and Jennifer pledge their love for one another over the phone, doing their not-too-impressive best to name what it is they share. Darryl wanders into the middle of Michael’s shift at Nemo’s Diner where he conjures up a preternatural lesson in the ways of the fairer sex for the lovelorn boy and the men of Eastwick.
The ladies and Darryl continue to plague Felicia, pouring drawing-pins, toenail clippings, spiders and cherry stones into the magic cookie jar … and out of Felicia’s vile mouth. In her kitchen Felicia is stricken by the spell, even as she attempts to harangue her husband. Clyde ends it all with a well-times frying pan, only to be extinguished himself in Felicia’s dying breath.
News of Clyde and Felicia’s mysterious deaths swiftly spread through the town/ Jennifer comes home from college to clear out the house. A newly educated Michael is chasing after every girl in Eastwick. Alexandra, Jane and Sukie, filled with guilt, distance themselves from Darryl. And an abandoned Darryl is none too happy about it, vowing revenge upon his distaff coven. Coming across Jennifer at the docks a remorseful Sukie ruminates on the ever-present past.
Van Horne moves in on the orphan girl, however, and under his considerable influence, Jennifer is seduced. The two quickly become engaged to be married – a fact rubbed firmly in the pretty faces of Alexandra, Jane and Sukie. The women make their plans, even as Van Horne prepares for his wedding, gloating all the while.
On the blessed day, Alexandra, Jane and Sukie gatecrash the proceedings at the church. Armed with a was effigy and a hat pin, they cast Darryl out of Eastwick.
Jennifer and Michael are reunited, if still linguistically impaired; And Alexandra, Jane and Sukie have all found peace with themselves and their lives, poised to live happily ever after. Darryl Van Horne is out of their lives forever.
Darryl Van Horne – John Wetherall
Alexandra Spofford – Sarah Moors
Jane Smart – Rachel Davies
Sukie Rougement – Rebecca Thorne
Felicia Gabriel – Lindsay Flavell
Clyde Gabriel – David Hill
Jennifer Gabriel – Emma Davis
Michael Spofford – Leon Davies
Fidel – Terry Gormley
Little Girl – Olivia Jones
Eudora Bryce – Sylvia Hill
Marge Perley – Tracey Powell
Homer Perley – Jonathon Dudley
Franny Lovecraft – Helen Watts
Gina Marino – Jane McWilliams
Joe Marino – Chris Worrell
Greta Neff – Kim Lavender
Raymond Neff – Chad Horton
Brenda Parsley – Chris Sandhu
Ed Parsley – Chris Ingley
Mabel Ogden – Claire Hankinson
Frank Ogden – Dave Storey
Rebecca Barnes – Claire Cox
Claire/Mavis Jessup – Sarah Watts
Marcy Wills – Claire Badger
Toby Bergman – Geoff Bird
Bob/Curtis Halleybread – Graham Quinn
Dr. Henry Pattison – Peter Worrall
Director & Choreographer Mike Capri
Musical Director Jonathan Hill
Dance Captain Claire Kramer