February 16 – 25, 2023
Written By Caryl Churchill
Music by Helen Glavin
Director Francis Matheu (MFA Candidate in Directing made possible in part by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts)
“What is a witch? A woman who is just a bit too attractive? A bit too ugly? A bit too handy with spells
and magic?” – LA Times review
Set in a time when it’s dangerous to be a woman without a husband – or just a woman who’s different – Vinegar Tom is a wild mash-up that blends a 17th-century witch hunt with modern musical numbers that cleverly connect this tale to how women’s bodies remain a battleground today.
The play, written in the 1970s by the much-acclaimed British playwright, leads us to question not only the historical persecution of “witches” over the ages, but why anyone persecutes anyone. In this work Churchill is at her best: raw, satirical, political, and mad as hell!
Made possible in part by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA)
Caryl Churchill, Playwright
With over 50 plays for stage and radio to her name, the prolific Caryl Churchill is considered by many other writers as our greatest living playwright. She is known for pushing boundaries, both in rethinking traditional theatrical forms as well as creating works that are compelling calls to action on a number of subjects, including feminism, abuses of power and sexual politics.
Born in London, England in 1938, Churchill emigrated to Canada after the second World War but returned in 1956 to attend Oxford University. While raising her family in the 1960s and 1970s, Churchill wrote radio dramas and television plays for the BBC. In 1972, her play Owners, a two-act, 15-scene play about obsession with power, was her first work to be produced in London. From 1974-5 she served as the Resident Dramatist at the Royal Court Theatre.
Churchill has won multiple Obie Off-Broadway Awards, including for Cloud 9 (1981), a farce about sexual politics; Top Girls (1982), a play about women losing humanity to gain power; Serious Money (1987), a comedy about excesses in the financial world; as well as the Obie for Sustained Achievement Award (2001).
Churchill is known for experimenting with non-traditional techniques and theatrical forms, including Hotel (1997), a choreographed opera or sung ballet set in a hotel room; This Is a Chair (1999), a surrealistic short play; and Love and Information (2012), a play with over 100 characters in 57 unrelated scenes that leaves audiences questioning the choices that they make online and how they affect the truly important things in their lives.
Now into her 80s, Churchill continues to be exceptionally productive, having written nine plays in the past five years.
Francis Matheu, Director
Tuesday to Friday evenings at 8pm
Saturday matinees at 2pm
Thursday February 23 at 7pm
Friday February 24 at 7pm
Saturday February 25 at 3pm
Subscription packages are available now.
Single Tickets for this show are available after Monday, February 6, 2023.
Charge by phone: 250-721-8000
or in person at the Phoenix Box Office
(Ticket purchases are not possible online)
Box Office Hours: Click HERE.
- Friday & Saturday Evenings:
All Seats $30
- Wednesday, Thursday Evenings & Saturday Matinees:
All Seats $26
- Cheap Tuesdays:
All Seats $16
- Student Rush Tickets:
30 minutes before every show: $16
- UVic Alumni: Saturday Matinees: $21 (with UVic Alumni ONECard)
- Streaming Performances
Thursday & Saturday: $26
Please review the current COVID-19 protocols and vaccination requirements for in-person performances.
Performed in the Roger Bishop Theatre
Cast & Creative
Director Francis Matheu
Musical Director Naomi Harris
Musical Arranger Naomi Sehn
Set & Costume Designer Mallory Goodman
Lighting Designers Ken Matthews and Carson Schmidt
Sound DesignerJaeden Walton
Choreographer Alison Roberts
Streaming Director Kevin Eastman
Stange Manager Georgia Sherman
.. Preshow Lecture
Friday, February 17 at 7pm
Join Director Francis Matheu and Set and Costume Designer Mallory Goodman for a lecture on themes related to the play prior to the show this evening. The lecture will not be recorded
This show deals with mature subject matter including coarse language, sexual content, themes of violence towards women, and historical material that may be disturbing for some patrons.
Suitable for ages 16+
Please enquire with the box office for further details: 250-721-8000