Want to get involved in a total witch-hunt?
One of the shows to catch at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this August is Holly Morgan is a Witch – Get Her!
I caught up with Holly Morgan for a behind-the-scenes look at the production.
What was your inspiration for this show?
I’ve always been fascinated by the witch-hunts and the position ‘the witch’ occupies in the popular imagination. It’s so bizarre that she’s simultaneously ‘sexy’ – as a Halloween costume with a chafing gusset – and a scary hag who wants to eat your kids.
Is this a musical version of Sabrina the Teenage Witch?
Well, I do make my husband dress up as my ‘familiar’ – he plays a sassy cat.
What makes Stevie Nicks the go-to soundtrack for anything witchy?
I think people conflate Stevie with the song Rhiannon, which is about a Welsh witch. Also, because she is a fucking bad-ass and had some high profile relationships, people tried to write her off as this ‘weird’ sexual deviant. That, and the scarfs and the twirling! She owned the ‘witch’ thing so completely in American Horror Story, she really controls that narrative now. I’m obsessed with her!
I think Sara will always be my favourite track, but Edge of Seventeen is the anthem really, isn’t it?
Are witches feminist icons?
Absolutely. I think it’s really important to acknowledge that ‘witch hunting’ is an attempt to oppress women as a sex. The earliest ‘witches’ were herbalists and midwives – helpful, kind women who could knock you up a bath bomb or make sure you didn’t die in childbirth! The evil hag business is sheer misogyny.
Given the obsession in US politics with witch-hunts, is this a time of resurgence for witches?
It’s one of the main threads in the show. That pathetic clown in the White House – the most dangerous clown since John Wayne Gacy – denounces anything which exposes his criminality as a ‘witch hunt’. We commonly understand ‘witch hunt’ to mean the persecution of someone who has done nothing wrong. This obviously has another layer of irony when the person who cries ‘witch hunt’, thereby invoking the murder of thousands of women, is a man who has routinely assaulted and abused women.
Bloody hell, there are also jokes in this show, guys, I do feel the need to stress that!
What do you hope that people feel when watching this show?
I want them to have a laugh and be fucking angry. I’ve managed to crowbar in a divas-impressions medley at the end, so if nothing else, I hope people will feel they saw a dodgy Cher act for cheaper than actually seeing Cher.