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White Witch of Rose Hall White Witch of Rose Hall
White Witch of Rose Hall

 The play is based on a supposedly true story set in Jamaica at Rose Hall in the late 18th Century. Barry Reckord used his wordsmith skills and imagination in building the characters and plot creating a vibrant and exciting place for the theatre. It tackles the mystery of witchcraft in the context of the Caribbean against the unforgiving setting of slavery, its commercial viability and the plantation owners in the Caribbean. All this through the lens of human emotion, love and revenge.

 

 

According to the legend, the spirit of “Annie Palmer” haunts the grounds of Rose Hall Plantation near Montego Bay. The story states that she was born in Haiti to an English mother and Irish father and spent most of her life in Haiti. When her parents died of yellow fever, she was adopted by a nanny who taught her witchcraft and voodoo. She moved to Jamaica and married John Palmer, owner of Rose Hall Plantation. Annie murdered Palmer along with two subsequent husbands and numerous male plantation slaves, later being murdered herself by a slave named “Takoo”.

 

 

An investigation of the legend in 2007 by Benjamin Radford concluded that the story was fictionalised, modelled on the title character in a famous Jamaican novel, The White Witch of Rosehall by Herbert G. de Lisser, published in 1929. An Annie Palmer unrelated to Rose Hall did exist, and by all accounts had no tendencies toward sadism or lechery. Rough Guide To Jamaica author Polly Thomas writes that the name of Annie Palmer may have become confused with Rosa Palmer, the original mistress of Rose Hall who did have four husbands but was said to be unwaveringly virtuous. – Wikipedia

 

White Witch of Rose Hall

Where: Chelsea Theatre, SW10 0DR April 4-30 £10-£12  Click here for full details.

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