crucible cast

The Crucible

Malvern Young Players


Witchcraft, incantations, naked dancing in the woods, cauldrons with living creatures in, allegations, counter-allegations, excommunication and executions – the scandal of the Salem witchcraft trials are the focus of the best-known play by America’s greatest playwright of the Twentieth Century, Arthur Miller.

In a highly religious society, the teenagers experimenting and rebelling in the woods provoke one of the most heart-wrenching miscarriages of justice.

The profound insecurities of the local preacher, the Reverend Paris, and the pig-headed pride of the Deputy Governor, Thomas Danforth, result in the well-meaning ‘expert’ in matters of the occult, the Reverend Hale, finding that events are taken out of his hands: he watches as innocent citizens have their reputations blackened and their lives destroyed by the manipulative teenager Abigail and her associates.

Even when she runs away in Act Four, still the machinery of injustice grinds on and further executions take place.

Miller’s fascination with these historical events was partly provoked by the McCarthy trials in the USA in the 1950s. The play has much contemporary relevance today as well, and the revival by the Malvern Young Players is full of poignancy and dramatic impact.

The young amateur cast provide some strong performances in the key roles. Charlotte Myerson (Abigail), Toby Burchell (John Proctor) and Emily Henry (Elizabeth Proctor) are at the core of this story. The scene in the last act between John and Elizabeth was very moving and convincing, not overplayed but highly charged. Abigail’s performance in Act 3, when the young girls start ‘manifesting’ to turn the direction of the scene and draw Mary Warren away from Proctor, was very effectively directed and performed.

Mary Warren makes a very promising debut with the company: the clarity of her diction was lost at times but she sustained her role in the middle of the play well.

Jacob Buckley (Reverend Hale) is an experienced and strong presence; he plays his developing and increasingly tortured character with conviction and clear delivery.

Likewise, Ben Mowbray is a strong and assured performer in the key role of Danforth in the second half of the play.

The bare black staging with a few items of furniture adequately throws the focus on the acting and the story.

The inclusion of the missing scene at the beginning of Act Three was new to me and added an interesting twist, though I can understand why Miller omitted it from the final version of the play.

Once again the combination of promising young amateur players and a professional director and stage team is a winning formula. This is brilliant for emerging talent and an evening of almost completely gripping tension. To 19-08-17.

Timothy Crow


There is no admission charge for this production, instead, there will be a collection after each performance in support of future Malvern Theatres projects.

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