|Arthur Miller's The Crucible At The Questors Theatre|
Emotive modern classic of the Salem witch-hunts
In 1692 the God-fearing citizens of Salem are turned against one another when false accusations of witchcraft start flying around the community. One of Arthur Miller's best known plays, The Crucible is based on true events - perhaps the most frightening element of the play. Additionally, written in 1953, it is a knowing comment on the anti-communist investigations of 50s USA. The play portrays the frailty of human society that can be whipped into a hysteria through fear.
Pam Redrup, director of the Questors production that opens on 6 November, did not feel the need to have either a complex set or traditional Puritan costumes. "I knew that the text and the story were strong enough to dispense with complicated set changes between houses, courtroom and gaol. I also felt that comfortable, neutral clothing would allow the cast just to immerse themselves in their increasingly desperate situations without being distracted."
The story is an emotional one as the people of Salem are swept up in accusations that all begin with the mischief and repressions of a group of girls. As it all gets out of hand, secrets are revealed, old resentments resurface and lives are destroyed.
The Crucible, named after a small bowl where metals and other materials are subjected to great heat and changed, is as valid today as it was in 1953. Says director Pam, "Groups of human beings are still capable of over-reacting and becoming emotionally charged once a seed of fear is sewn. Miller's play may be about alleged witches, but its themes are a potent reminder of how we can be easily influenced."
The Crucible opens Friday 6 November with an extra matinee performance on Thursday 12 November especially for schools. Full performance details at www.ealingtheatre.com
The Crucible will be performed in the Judi Dench Playhouse at The Questors Theatre, Mattock Lane, Ealing W5 5BQ 6-7, 10-14 November at 7.45pm; 8 November at 2.30pm.
Tickets are £14 (£12 conc, £7 under-16/student), final Fri/Sat £17.00 (£14 conc, £9 under-16/student). Bargain Tickets £7.00 on 6 November
Full details and online booking: www.ealingtheatre.com. Box Office: 020 8567 5184