In the Puritan New England town of Salem, Massachusetts, a group of girls goes dancing in the forest with a black slave named Tituba (Played by Diana Yekinni). While dancing, they are caught by the local minister, Reverend Parris. Afterwards Reverend Parris’ own daughter a young girl called Betty (Played by Leona Allen), falls into a coma like state and the whole town talks of witchcraft.
The show starts with the girl’s dance and you will find your heart pulled back and forth, as you wait for the conclusion of the emotional dance of the whole night.
The scenery was simple and allowed the cast to be the focus of the night. One of the scenes that I particularly enjoyed was the tree trunks that appeared in the first act and how they descended from the stage’s roof. During this scene at The Rev Parris’s house, they are a constant reminder of the girls dancing in the woods and that the dance is not over.
Eoin Slattery gives a stunning performance as John Proctor, the local farmer who finds himself at the centre of the accusation, keeping us on our toes throughout the night and often appearing as the voice of reason. I found the performance of Jonathan Tafler, who played Judge Danforth, frustrating, but only because he was so convincing that I found myself wanting to get up on the stage and argue against his witch fearing point of view.
We may think that the story of The Crucible is irrelevant in this day and age and we are beyond yelling witchcraft, but we live in a world where, only this week, the 45th president of the United States remarked on a terrorist attack in Sweden that never happened. This is just one example of how we have not left this finger-pointing culture of the past too far behind and we should take heed and learn from the mistakes of the past.