Current Project

Vinegar Tom

28 Oct - 6 Nov 2021
The Maltings Theatre, St Albans

“If you float you’re a witch
If you scream you’re a witch
If you sink then you’re dead anyway”

Alice thinks she has met the devil and dreams of him nightly, wishing he’d return. Does this make her a witch?

Betty, the teenage daughter of a wealthy landowner, has refused to marry and is locked up in her room by her parents, convinced she is bewitched.

A farmer and his wife are blighted by bad luck. Convinced their neighbour Joan (along with her cat Vinegar Tom) has put a curse on them, they whip up a whirlwind of fear and fire. 

Into this perfect storm of superstition and slander a renowned “witch-finder” arrives and it’s not long until almost every woman in the village has the finger of suspicion pointing at them.

“Not for me to say one’s a witch or not a witch. I give you the glass and you see in it what you see in it.”

Caryl Churchill’s bold musical drama Vinegar Tom was first performed in 1976 and continues to resonate today. By turns beautiful, brutal, funny and moving, this electric fusion of seventeenth century folklore and modern folk-rock comes to the The Maltings in a 45th anniversary production with live music composed by Maria Haik Escudero under the direction of Off West End Award winner Matthew Parker. 


Vinegar Tom was written for Monstrous Regiment and was first presented at the Humberside Theatre, Hull, on 12th October 1976.


  • Alice: Emilia Harrild
  • Joan/Sprenger: Jill Priest
  • Margery: Cathy Conneff
  • Susan: Melissa Shirley-Rose
  • Betty: Lauren Somerville
  • Ellen/Bellringer/Kramer: Lottie Davies
  • Goody: Emma Thrower
  • Jack: Alan Howell
  • Man/Doctor/Packer: Jon Bonner


  • Writer: Caryl Churchill
  • Composer & Musical Director: Maria Haik Escudero
  • Director: Matthew Parker
  • Stage Manager: Lauren Hitchen
  • Designer: Sorcha Corcoran
  • Costume Designer: Alice McNicholas
  • Lighting Designer: Matt Dugee
  • Sound Designer: Michael Bird
  • Intimacy Consultant: Asha Jennings-Grant
  • Assistant Director: Matt Strachan
  • Production Manager: Ryan Wilce
  • Press: Judy Lipsey