The Crucible (2 stars)

The Crucible

Stiff performances and lethargic pace dog Arthur Miller classic

Pored over by students across the globe and regularly revived, Arthur Miller’s The Crucible is an audacious choice as Strathclyde Theatre Group’s first production as an independent company following the closure of the Ramshorn Theatre earlier in the year due to university cutbacks.

Deborah Mair’s production sticks faithfully to the text, which details the Salem witch trials of the 1600s and their impact on the local community. Miller explores a small town’s paranoia and fear as characters turn against each other, panicked by the threat of witchcraft in their midst.

Although pivotal characters like John Proctor (Gerry Hay) and Reverend Parris (Derek Banner) are strongly acted, some of the other performances are somewhat stiff. The range of accents within the cast proves confusing, and the pace of the production moves lethargically at points over the three-hour show. The lack of excitement is all the more frustrating given the ever-intriguing nature of the subject matter and the clear amount of hard work that went into staging such an ambitious play.

Cottiers Theatre, Glasgow, until Sat 19 Nov

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