Warning: file_get_contents(http://api.wunderground.com/api/6ef1056fb64ea1d6/forecast10day/q/uk/redditch.json): failed to open stream: HTTP request failed! HTTP/1.0 401 Unauthorized in /srv/users/serverpilot/apps/wordpress/public/wp-content/themes/newspaperv3/php/content/weather/weather.php on line 21

26th May, 2019

Review - The Crucible, Loft Theatre, Leamington

The Crucible

Loft Theatre, Leamington, until May 18

Reviewer: Peter McGarry

 

POWER emanates from this production.

Not just the power of Arthur Miller’s scorching drama, but the power of a company living and breathing the intensity of such a demanding enterprise.

Over the years many have had a go, at all kinds of levels, but few can top the courage and achievement we see here. The achievement lies in fielding a cast of more than 20 actors who deliver hardly a wrong note between them. The courage concerns the simplicity of staging – a bed, a table, a couple of chairs – which allows full focus on the brilliance of the dialogue and the stormy eloquence of the stirring confrontations.

The Salem witch trials and their murderous outcome provide enough theatrical red meat in themselves without Miller’s wickedly clever alignment with America’s shameful anti-communist victimisations of the 1950s. For actors and directors alike, the challenges are as tempting as they are enormous.

In this instance, co-directors David Fletcher and Gordon Vallins create an all-pervasive atmosphere from the opening seconds with ominous chanting by the Salem young folk. Then, casually and masterfully, they tighten the grip as the play progresses and the small, superstitious community crumbles into all-out hysteria.

The basic tragedy forming around the central couple is superbly evoked in the performances of Craig Shelton and Elizabeth Morris. His John Proctor is an innocent rustic farmer whose only sins are ploughing on Sundays and a once-only dalliance with a scheming teenage girl. Shelton’s portrayal fixes splendidly on the man’s conscience-torn fragility while Elizabeth Morris depicts how the calm and steadfast loyalty of the wife falls prey to pessimistic dread.

Around this pair are the figures of committed authority, from Mark Crossley’s Rev Samuel Parris, who takes panic and petulance to a riveting new level, to Robert Lowe’s fearsome judge/inquisitor. There is eye-catching work too from Bryan Ferriman as old Giles whose sad and impassioned pleading for true justice is a key issue of the piece.

As the relentless drama unfolds and the young girls’ passions are given full rein, the full-scale irony of the trials once again spells out its parallels with the McCarthy hearings.

And that overall power makes it positively frightening.

A staggering achievement.

Career Finder 24/7

Find a career you'll love with our free career finder website.

Online Editions

Catch up on your local news by reading our e-editions on the Redditch Standard.

Car Finder 24/7

We've written reviews to help you find a car you'll love to drive.

Business Directory

From plumbers, to restaurants, we can provide you with all the info you need.

Cookie Preferences

We use cookies on this website for a number of purposes. They help us to provide you with a good experience, and also allow us to improve our site. By continuing to browse the site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Alternatively, you can disable all unnecessary cookies.

Targeting

These cookies record your visit to our website, the pages you have visited and the links you have followed. We will use this information to make our website and the advertising displayed on it more relevant to your interests. We may also share this information with third parties for this purpose.

  • __gadsUsed to register what ads have been displayed to the user.

  • _ssumRegisters a unique ID that identifies a returning user\'s device. The ID is used for targeted ads.

  • auditUsed to record cookie consent data.

  • IDEUsed by Google DoubleClick for re-targeting, optimisation, reporting and attribution of on line adverts.

  • DSIDUsed by Google DoubleClick for re-targeting, optimisation, reporting and attribution of on line adverts.

  • eudRegisters anonymised user data, such as IP address, geographical location , visited websites, and what ads the user has clicked, with the purpose of optimising ad display based on the user's movement on websites that use the same ad network.

  • eudsRegisters anonymised user data, such as IP address, geographical location , visited websites, and what ads the user has clicked, with the purpose of optimising ad display based on the user's movement on websites that use the same ad network.

  • everest_g_v2Used for targeted ads and to document efficacy of each individual ad.

  • GoogleAdServingTestUsed to register what ads have been displayed to the user.

  • IDEUsed by Google DoubleClick to register and report the website user\'s actions after viewing or clicking one of the advertiser\'s ads with the purpose of measuring the efficacy of an ad and to present targeted ads to the user.

  • khaosRegisters anonymised user data, such as IP address, geographical location , visited websites, and what ads the user has clicked, with the purpose of optimising ad display based on the user's movement on websites that use the same ad network.

  • rsidRegisters anonymised user data, such as IP address, geographical location , visited websites, and what ads the user has clicked, with the purpose of optimising ad display based on the user's movement on websites that use the same ad network.

  • rudRegisters anonymised user data, such as IP address, geographical location , visited websites, and what ads the user has clicked, with the purpose of optimising ad display based on the user's movement on websites that use the same ad network.

  • rudsRegisters anonymised user data, such as IP address, geographical location , visited websites, and what ads the user has clicked, with the purpose of optimising ad display based on the user's movement on websites that use the same ad network.

  • ses#Registers anonymised user data, such as IP address, geographical location , visited websites, and what ads the user has clicked, with the purpose of optimising ad display based on the user's movement on websites that use the same ad network.

  • puxDates for when information in the put_* and sput cookies expires and should be refreshed.

  • ssiRegisters a unique ID that identifies a returning user's device. The ID is used for targeted ads.

  • uuidCollects data on the user's visits to the website, such as what pages have been loaded. The registered data is used for targeted ads.

  • uuidcCollects data on the user's visits to the website, such as what pages have been loaded. The registered data is used for targeted ads.

  • vis#Registers anonymised user data, such as IP address, geographical location , visited websites, and what ads the user has clicked, with the purpose of optimising ad display based on the user's movement on websites that use the same ad network.

  • trp_optoutCookie indicating that a user has opted-out of behavioral targeting marketing.

  • FPTrustThese cookies support the opt-out process via the Network Advertising Initiative (NAI).

  • rpxContains expiration dates for information in the rpb cookie.

  • fcapNumber of times we have shown an ad on a per user basis.

Performance

They allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works, for example, by ensuring that users find what they are looking for easily.

  • __utmaThis cookie is used to calculate new and returning visitor statistics through Google Analytics.

  • __utmbThis cookie is used to establish and continue a user session with your site. When a user views a page on your site, the Google Analytics code attempts to update this cookie. If it does not find the cookie, a new one is written and a new session is established. Each time a user visits a different page on our site, this cookie is updated to expire in 30 minutes, thus continuing a single session for as long as user activity continues within 30-minute intervals. This cookie expires when a user pauses on a page on our site for longer than 30 minutes.

  • test_cookieUsed to check if your browser supports cookies.

  • _gaRegisters a unique ID that is used to generate statistical data on how the visitor uses the website.

  • _gatUsed by Google Analytics to throttle request rate.

  • _gidRegisters a unique ID that is used to generate statistical data on how the visitor uses the website.

  • collectUsed to send data to Google Analytics about the visitor\'s device and behaviour. Tracks the visitor across devices and marketing channels.

  • _gat_newsOverviewUsed by Google Analytics to throttle request rate.

  • UIDUsed to track the user around the site.

  • UIDRUsed to track the user around the site.

Necessary

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website, use a shopping cart or make use of the e-billing services.

  • PHPSESSIDThe PHPSESSID cookie is used for managing user session on the website and does not store any personal information.