The Crucible

Caught up with 'The Crucible' again in Darlington. It's a long way from home, but it gave me a good excuse to catch up with Chris, Val and Julia. As an added bonus, Nichola Collie who's over from New Zealand was there as well.

The play's improved since I originally saw it. It was good to start with, but the timing on action scenes is far better now and the girls have improved greatly. The courtroom scene where the girls are having group hysterics is extremely powerful.

There's also been a slight change to the last scene in the interaction between John and Elizabeth Proctor which increased its impact for me.

Some of the cast (including Gareth) were very good from the start. Now, I'd have to compliment the entire cast. It's a large cast too. It actually gives you hope for the survival of live theatre when you see a play with a cast this size (ie. expensive to produce) playing to full houses. Gareth said that they actually had to do one more night than was originally planned at Darlington because the advance bookings were so good. The play has apparantly been getting excellent reviews.

The actress playing Rebecca Nurse didn't feel quite right (she didn't convey the right impression of age and infirmity though she had the personality about right. However, a note tucked into the programme stated that the role was being undertaken by a different actress from usual, so I can't really hold that against them.)

We met up with Gareth and he was his usual delightful self. I've decided that he looks very nice in a green waistcoat. I can't remember much of what we talked about, but it strikes me that life on tour must be a very odd kind of existence. "It's Friday so this must be Darlington", is only just a joke.

The evening we saw it, the audience were completely silent after the play finished. They only started applauding when the cast came back to take their bows. That's how powerful an impact it leaves.


The Crucible photo is by Mark Douet - the price (1998) was 12 including postage. The reference number for the photo (which you will need to quote if you order one) is MD980919R - 3 (ie. it's the third negative on that sheet). send your money to 1-5 Clarkenwell Rd, London EC1M 5PA

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Last updated on 27th of March 1999.