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The Crucible review at Birmingham Rep

Powerful is the aptest word to describe The Crucible, Arthur Miller’s masterpiece that crescendoes steadily to its climactic end. This snapshot of a Puritan community in 17th-century America where justice and religion became disastrously distorted still strikes a chord with the raw concepts of honour, truth, abuse of power and paranoia.

Human nature and its failings are given a crude inspection, at times becoming a sad, pathetic spectacle. The cast gives a passionate performance with a particularly strong appearance by Malcolm Storry as John Proctor. Playing against Patricia Kerrigan as his wife Elizabeth, the couple shine in the final scenes where their pain, love and desperation are touchingly palpable.

Among the younger members of the cast, Sara Beharrell gives a powerful, heart-felt performance as Mary Warren, while all the performers have done clearly their homework, with dialect coach Sally Hague giving the play added authenticity.

Mark Jonathan must be specially commended for his lighting which breathes life into the sets. The clever use throughout of atmospheric cast-iron ceiling lamps and props were a stroke of genius. The sets themselves are beautifully made with rustique simplicity. Director Jonathan Church must therefore be commended for creating such a polished production that does justice to this classic.

Production Information

Birmingham Rep , October 1-23

Author
Arthur Miller
Director
Jonathan Church
Producer
The Touring Consortium
Cast includes
Sara Beharrell, Malcolm Storry, Patricia Kerrigan
Running time
3hrs