A complete archive of every major YAT production since 1970
by Arthur Miller
Set in Salem, Massachusetts, 1692, a community stands accused of witchcraft, and in the mood of fear and recriminations that develops, men denounce their neighbours and truth is perverted by superstition. As the small Salem community is stirred into madness and the play reaches it's violent climax, the events it describes, become a timeless vision of the evils of mindless persecution.
Review by George Allan for Middlesex Chronicle (January 1984)Youth Action Theatre never takes a soft option, I am happy to say, and the play that Eric Yardley chose for this talented group to present in Kingston Parish Church, in aid of the Church Tower Appeal Fund, was one of the most challenging of the post-war era - Arthur Miller's The Crucible.
This is an angry play, and Mr Yardley's decision to allow it to speak for itself paid handsome dividends, in that there were no misguided attempts to 'interpret', but simply a guiding of the thoughtful and committed actors in bringing the play to life.
Miller's play is an overt attack on the misuse of authority, personified with chilling intensity by Graham Osborne as Deputy-Governor Danforth and by David Hannigan as the Rev. Parris. It is also about the beauty and strength of the human spirit, captured with rare truth by David Gray as the honest farmer John Proctor and by Sonya Peskett as the elderly 'dame' of the village Rebecca Nurse.
Susannah Doyle was excellent as the hedonist and wicked, though hardly evil, Abigail Williams, who precipitates the whole tragedy, while Fiona Kavanagh grew in stature as Mary Warren, the only child who had the glimmerings of courage to try and escape from the tissue of lies that Abigail had spun.
Among the smaller roles there were some fine performances, notably from Aiden Paddick as Giles Corey, Rebecca Wheatley as Sarah Good, and especially from Nicholas Wilson as the only 'authority figure' who has the courage to question the madness that affects all, the Rev. John Hale.
Another, and deserved, triumph for YAT, one of the brightest jewels in our local dramatic crown.
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