Miller’s play is justifiably a classic of modern theatre. It has a power to move and to challenge an audience that sets it ahead of the work of his contemporaries. This production is very faithful to the text and allows the text to speak very directly for itself.
The direction of Polina Kalinina is often excellent – encouraging similarly excellent interplay between the key actors. Occasionally sightlines were obscured – but that is inevitable given the constraints of the venue.
Credit must be given to all for bringing out the various levels of motivation demonstrated by all the participants in the hysteria. The central portayal of any production of The Crucible is that of John Proctor – here John Owen had moments of incredible power. He was well matched by the women in his life – Jana Burbach and Skye Lucas-Banks. Frank Brinkley was subtle in his portrayal of the troubled Hale. In fact there wasn’t really a weak performance from any of the cast. It was a shame that there wasn’t a programme so that the audience could better identify the performers.
I have one minor quibble and that is a lack of consistency over the use of accents. Whilst I appreciate that the cast were drawn from both sides of the Atlantic, there appeared to be no attempt to bring the accents together to create a real sense of community – something that seems essential for this particular work.
Maybe a little more time could have been spent on the props and costumes but in all honesty it doesn’t matter. This is a good production of an excellent play. It far exceeded my expectations.
Go – Enjoy!