Click here to watch John Hodgart’s talk on Bessie Dunlop: The Witch o Dalry plus other videos from the 2021 ASLS Schools Conference.
Available here as a free PDF download, Bessie Dunlop, the Witch o Dalry is a three-act play for schools suitable for BGE and S3–S4 students. Based on the historical record of Bessie’s ‘confession’ to witchcraft in sixteenth-century Scotland, the episodic structure of the play shows the many characters and events that supposedly made up the catalogue of her crimes, but which in fact testify to her innocence and goodness. Bessie Dunlop, the Witch o Dalry introduces students to different levels and varieties of Scots and English and contains teaching notes, suggestions for classroom activities, and questions for discussion or writing.
The original version of Bessie Dunlop, the Witch o Dalry was written by John Hodgart and Martin Clarke in 1977. Hodgart rewrote the play for an EIS Drama competition before revising it again for Hodder and Staunton who published it as a school text in 1995. This 2021 shorter edition is the fourth version of the play.
CONTENTS Introduction A Note on Spelling and Pronunciation Cast List Bessie Dunlop, the Witch o Dalry Act One Act Two Act Three Glossary Music Reading and Discussion Questions, and Other Classroom Activities