Saturday 27th May 2017, back in Cardiff, on this bank holiday weekend, at the New Theatre for two performances of the 1953 play written by Arthur Miller ‘The Crucible’. A partially fictionalised story of the Salem Witch trials in Massachusetts in 1692/93.
The cast includes Charlie Condou (Coronation Street) as Reverend Hale and Victoria Yeates (Call the Midwife) as Elizabeth Proctor. A very powerful performance from all the cast, lots of emotion thrown in, as we see life in 1600’s flash before us. With talk of Witchcraft and courtrooms, seeming to hang women as witches, for the slightest of things, it seems very harsh times in this period of American history. Eoin Slattery as John Proctor with Victoria and Charlie, bring the story to life with some wonderful performances, very gritty and dark to watch, but with the brilliant acting skills of the cast, draw you in and keep you glued to every scene, which meant the first act was over in a flash.
Act two brings with it even more emotion and suspense, the courtroom scene is so well put together, with the arrival of the Boston judges,(played brilliantly by Jonathan Tafler (Judge Danforth) and Patrick McKenzie (Judge Hathorne), along with the testimony of the children and others. I actually had tears in my eyes in the next scene as John and Elizabeth Proctor plead with each other in the face of a public hanging. The play had that much of an influence throughout, you couldn’t help but feel something for the characters portrayed in the whole show.
An extremely well written play which does draw the audience into this world. At 3 hrs (with interval) it really does go so quickly, but it’s totally compelling to watch. A brilliant play, extremely well executed, which I thoroughly enjoyed, seeing it twice in one day was well worth the trip.