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Hex Sells! | Golden Goose Theatre

Hex Sells!, created and performed by Allie Young, promises an examination of witchcraft and female rage, but fails to deliver. Though Hex Sells! offers the bones of an unapologetic, radical investigation into the appeal of witches amongst self-identified feminists, it’s too bashful to push boundaries and lacks cohesion. Plenty of opportunities arose for Young to explore historical witch hunts in a modern lens, but Hex Sells! unfortunately did not rise to meet them.

Allie Young, a self-proclaimed witch, wants to temporarily welcome her audience into her

coven for the hour-long duration of the show, teasing audience participation (that ultimately

served little narrative purpose), and heavily featuring cabaret and mixed media. On each seat is a clearly stated thesis for the piece: “… an irreverent show in celebration of Witches in all their glory.” She goes on to inform the audience “[d]etails of the bloody history of the Witch Trials have purposely been omitted; but they can not [sic] be forgotten.'

Though a compelling argument can be made for removing the violence from a show focused on the celebration of witchcraft, also noticeably removed is any mention of the long history of non-white, non-cis witchcraft practitioners. Trans folk, queer women, and people of colour are often already silenced in occult conversations, and the complete lack of acknowledgement of their presence and important contributions to witchcraft only further silenced them. What very well could have been an anti-colonial one woman show, accidentally doubled down on the white washed history of Western witchcraft.

Further, there is a rich history of the intersection of female deviancy (a theme mentioned in the play’s summary but largely glossed over), sexuality, and persecution under a patriarchal society that could have been expanded upon. Hex Sells!, though entertaining at times, lacked specificity, making it more akin to an incomplete game of connect the dots than a fully realised production.

Though this show was ambitious and had the seeds of very important conversations, its lack of a dramatic throughline made the piece feel hollow. However, the stand-out moment of Hex Sells! was the final monologue - when Young finally speaks to the audience, she does so with a confidence and intentionality that the rest of the piece could have benefitted from. By relying primarily on pre-recorded tracks of other artists’ work, Young’s point of view is missing until this final monologue. The end result is a piece that feels under researched and appears to prioritize aesthetic over statement.

My hope for Hex Sells! as it continues its developmental journey is an examination of Young’s own privileges and a connection between what would be a valuable and interesting concept and the content of the final piece. The piece promised in the description was ultimately not the piece performed.


Gifted tickets in return for an honest review


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