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The Crucible

By Arthur Miller

Selladoor Productions & Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch

Opera House, Manchester

8 May 2017

The Crucible

This play is described as ‘a chilling reminder of the frailty of reason in the face of hysteria’, so can serve as a fitting parable of the EU referendum last summer.

The production stalls slightly at the start but soon gathers pace. By the last quarter you are fully immersed and the human drama – as we see these people’s lives destroyed by a spurious reality – is accelerating still.

Curiously, I can remember almost nothing about the set – it was bare, minimalist – but the people are scorched indelibly in my memory. Eoin Slattery’s performance as John Procter, an unfaithful man with a fatal fidelity to truth, is magnetic.

Miller’s play is an undoubted classic, and will undoubtedly be performed 100 years from now. Human integrity itself – what a man believes, what he thinks is true – is put on the line; and the stakes – life or death – are as high as they could ever be. At the same time there is the epistemological dimension: what is real here?

Overall, this is a very impressive production indeed. Tour dates can be seen here.

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