<div style="display:inline;"> <img height="1" width="1" style="border-style:none;" alt="" src="//googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/viewthroughconversion/1028731116/?value=0&amp;guid=ON&amp;script=0">
CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Cotswold Life today click here

REVIEW: The Crucible at Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham

PUBLISHED: 01:53 21 March 2017 | UPDATED: 01:55 21 March 2017

Victoria Yeates and Charlie Condou in The Crucible

Victoria Yeates and Charlie Condou in The Crucible

Archant

The Crucible at The Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, from March 20 to 25, 2017.

The Crucible. Photography by Alessia Chinazzo The Crucible. Photography by Alessia Chinazzo

Whether it’s 17th-century Massachusetts or 21st-century Washington, the parallels are painfully evident.

Tonight’s performance of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible has us all questioning our ability to do what’s right when faced with fear; to tell the truth despite the consequences. It’s a timeless story of persecution and hysteria that often rears its ugly head when the political world is in a messy state of flux.

The Crucible was first performed in 1952 as a wave of anti-Communist witch hunts swept through American society. As Miller witnessed the effects of McCarthyism on the nation, he felt inspired to open the history book and remind us of what we’re capable of. “I remembered these stories [of the Salem witch trials],” he said, “and used to tell them to people when it started. I had no idea that it was going to go as far as it went… McCarthy was actually saying certain lines that I recall the witch-hunters saying in Salem.”

The flagrant disregard of hard evidence seen in the clergy and judiciary – their need, and ultimately their ability, to bend the outcome to fit their purposes is a terrifyingly all-too-real depiction of what has happened time and time again.

The Crucible. Photography by Alessia Chinazzo The Crucible. Photography by Alessia Chinazzo

This effectively staged production, directed by Douglas Rintoul, opens with Reverend Parris (played by Cornelius Clarke) praying at the bedside of daughter Betty (Leona Allen), who is seemingly afflicted with some form of witchery and is in a catatonic state. Her friend Abigail (Lucy Keirl) stands nearby, giving her account of the girls’ discovery by the priest in the woodland, insisting their dancing and sinful behaviour – with 10 to 12 others – was innocent fun, and that the shock of the priest’s appearance was the cause of the Betty’s state.

What unfolds is a familiar tale of adultery, of a faithful wife defending the man she loves, of deception, jealousy, and spiteful revenge… what isn’t familiar is the horrific outcome of these human failings. It’s the perfect storm of teenage energy, the fragile nature of officialdom and blatant opportunism.

The strong cast include the roles of Elizabeth Proctor played by Victoria Yeates, and husband John played by Eoin Slattery, and the chemistry between them is exquisite. You really do get the sense that these two have been through so much together and, despite infidelities, will lay down their lives for each other. Other standout performances include Jonathan Tafler as the formidable Judge Danforth (what presence!); Charlie Condou as Reverend Hale, who effortlessly pulls off the role of repentant priest who dares to speak out against the insanity of the judicial system; and of course Lucy Keirl as Abigail Williams, the conniving teenager who is playing them all for fools.

The combined use of clever staging, effective use of stark lighting and swirling smoke, ominous sound design, and excellent cast, makes for a strong production that will have you leaving the theatre questioning what history has in store for us next.

The Crucible. Photography by Alessia Chinazzo The Crucible. Photography by Alessia Chinazzo

The Crucible is at The Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, from March 20 to 25. Box office: 01242 572573, www.everymantheatre.org.uk

Twitter: @TheCrucibleTour

Facebook: www.facebook.com/thecrucibletour

1 comment

  • Having worked for the Everyman Theatre in the past, and not ashamed to say that I am a practising witch myself, I faced discrimination and bully for being who I am and got a called a devil worshipper and baby killer as well by some members of staff. They don't need plays like this when they discriminate pagans anyway!

    Report this comment

    Katie Radcliffe

    Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

More from Food & Drink

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Alleviate the stress of hectic Christmas preparation and endless shopping trips with a festive afternoon tea in one of these gorgeous Cotswold settings

Read more
Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Whether you’re hoping for a leisurely Christmas Day lunch or a luxurious festive break away, why not try one of these charming Cotswold spots for a stress-free way to celebrate Christmas

Read more
Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Game is the ultimate seasonal food, so why don’t we eat more of it, asks Guy?

Read more
Friday, October 27, 2017

Join Whatley Manor for a wonderfully unique Christmas shopping experience.

Read more
Friday, October 27, 2017

Grey’s Brasserie will unveil a completely new look.

Read more
Friday, October 27, 2017

The Dining Room delights every sense, serving dinner Wednesday to Sunday.

Read more
Tuesday, October 24, 2017

In celebration of chef Niall Keating achieving a Michelin star, Whatley Manor are offering a midweek stay and tasting menu experience from £349.

Read more
Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The Hillside team have worked closely with Pilates expert Samantha Lewis to create a rejuvenating workout which not only benefits the body, but tantalises the taste buds too!

Read more
Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Proudly boasting a host of talented chefs, local producers and brewers, the Cotswolds is a firm fixture on the nation’s foodie map. Don those stretchy trousers - we pick the food and drink you need to try in the region

Read more
Monday, October 16, 2017

Warner’s Budgens has won the ‘Independent Retailer of the Year’ award for the second time at the recent Retail Industry Awards, held at the Grosvenor Hotel in London

Read more
Wednesday, October 11, 2017

On a sunny autumn afternoon we headed to the Forest of Dean to try our hand at finding edible, wildlife ingredients on one of the Tudor Farmhouse Hotel’s foraging courses. Here’s how we got on...

Read more
Thursday, October 5, 2017

From lively pubs to charming eateries, you’re never far away from a wonderful venue serving great-tasting, well-crafted burgers in Cheltenham. Here’s our pick of 9 of the best places to visit in the Cotswold town

Read more
Thursday, October 5, 2017

Home to stunning regency buildings, an endless list of fantastic bars and restaurants, plenty of places to shop and, of course, a bevy of world-renowned festivals and events, its little wonder thousands of visitors flock to Cheltenham every year. Here is our essential guide on where to eat and drink in the wonderful Cotswold town

Read more
Tuesday, October 3, 2017

The sophisticated all-day dining destination in the heart of Cheltenham’s boutique Montpellier district will offer an ideal rest-stop for shoppers, locals and visitors alike

Read more
 
Great British Holidays advert link

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory
A+ Education

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad
Cotswold Life Application Link

Local Business Directory

Cotswold's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area



Property Search