26 October 2022
5.0 out of 5.0 stars
The Salem witch trials are so ingrained in our culture, surely everyone has heard of the panic that arose in 1692 in Massachusetts and lead to mass prosecution in the small town. The Crucible looks at the proceedings with a more recent approach of explaining what exactly lead to the witch hunt in Salem, while staying true to the setting and language of the time.
In a deeply religious community devoid of secular authority, young children start showing symptoms of what is today often described as “mass hysteria” and begin accusing residents of the town of having dealings with the devil and engaging in witchcraft. This panic quickly spirals out of control when more than 200 people are accused, with thirty of them found guilty and sentenced to death.
The Crucible follows the interpretation of recent research, that points to a combination of religious fanaticism, political turmoil, personal disputes, and jealousy that led to the tragic events in Salem.
Presenting the accused and the accusers as real people with real struggles, the tale unfolds with terrifying intensity, making the plight of the innocent palpable while exploring the motivations of the accusers.
It is no wonder that this production is near sold out for the rest of its run at the National, it’s a gruesome tale that digs into human fallibility in an isolated town with strict behavioural expectations for children and adults alike.
A gorgeous production I urge anyone to go and see, if you can get a ticket. Keep an eye on the ticketing website for last minute returns as well, they often offer a chance to snag up a seat or two on the day.