STUDENTS will be treading the boards as the infamous witchfinder general in a school production.

Manningtree High School’s year seven pupils will be performing the Matthew Hopkins story to an audience.

The story of Mistley’s self-proclaimed witchfinder general is based on a film which was made locally in recent years.

More than 300 women are believed to have been executed for witchcraft between 1644 and 1646, many at the hands of Matthew Hopkins. He is thought to have lived at what is now the Mistley Thorn and held preliminary examinations of those accused of witchcraft at the White Hart, in Manningtree.

A school spokesman said: “Students will be acting it out, performing music, making costumes and props for it and the children have spent a number of curriculum days getting it right.”

The show is being performed on January 19.