Play: The Crucible
Playwright: Arthur Miller
Director: Douglas Rintoul
Performance Date: 5 Jun. 2017
Venue: Theatre Royal Glasgow
Summary: Based on real events that occurred in seventeenth-century Salem, Massachusetts, rumours of witchcraft arise due to a group of young girls found dancing in the forest at night.
Eleanor Montgomery (as Ann Putnam) was particularly harrowing as she conveyed her superstitious fears as she relayed her grief to Reverend Parris about losing her seven children. In addition, David Kirkbride interpreted John Proctor in a different light, in a more playful manner, which I had not interpreted before, until the final scene where Kirkbride truly revealed Proctor’s pride.
Walking into the auditorium, I was met with dark throbbing music that seemed to set the tone for the play, however, I was deeply disappointed in the production overall.
I felt that some of the cast did not connect with the text, or as a matter of fact, with each other, so it became a rather disjointed performance. Cornelius Clarke (Reverend Parris) proceeded to scream his lines repeatedly throughout the production which eventually became tiring. Lucy Keirl (Abigail Williams) moved around the stage in such an awkward fashion, it looked as if she had not rehearsed. Victoria Yeates (Elizabeth Proctor) and Charlie Condou (Reverend Hale), as shown above, lacked energy and presence on stage; in particular, Condou who seemed disconnected or distracted during the production.
The set was clean and simple, but that did not seem to stop the actors from blocking each other during some scenes. A strange aspect of the play was the overhead text from which was displayed at certain moments – particularly entrances. I felt it was unnecessary as it took away from the action below.
Why did I read it?
Arthur Miller’s play was one of the first plays I ever properly read in secondary school. Having re-read it last year, I knew it was a play that I had to see, so I jumped at the chance to see it at the Theatre Royal in Glasgow.
Has the theatre company produced other plays?
Selladoor Productions has produced an array of shows: a modern adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Jekyll and Hyde, R. C. Sheriff’s Journey’s End, and William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
I think the main issue with this production was the direction and perhaps some of the character choices. To me, there was not enough connection to Miller’s themes of paranoia, manipulation, and suspicion, which makes this play so engrossing and disturbing to experience.
– Melissa Jennings