Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Crucible - I am in a play :)

This is a review written about the play I am in at the moment:

RIGHT: Brian Bolton as John Proctor, and Jaz Robertson as Abigail Williams

The Crucible

By Arthur Miller

Directed by Brenda White

New Farm Nash Theatre

Merthyr Uniting Church

52 Merthyr Rd

New Farm

DIRECTOR Brenda White really brought The Crucible to life at The Nash Theatre!

The show was such an enjoyably intense experience that really did the play justice.

Abigail Williams, played by Jaz Robertson, is at the centre of the witchery and turmoil. It is her and the other young girls’ “innocent” behaviour that soon leads to a town fearing the Devil is amongst them.

Abigail is clearly lacking many things in her life; love, security and self-worth. Although she appears confident and bold, thou shalt not be deceived.

Soon enter John Proctor, played by Brian Bolton, who I must mention as one of the standout performances. At first I was struggling to find the interaction between Bolton and Robertson believable, but this soon all changed and it proved to be a powerful connection that both actors should be proud of.

The story of their affair is touched upon, and Abigail delivers her desires for Proctor with conviction.

Proctor and Abigail seem to represent the good and the bad at the heart of this mayhem. Proctor, an honest and sensible man, who also is a devout Christian, struggles to come to terms with how serious the girls’ accusations of Spirits and the Devil are being taken.

Reverend John Hale, played by Craig Wood (another standout performance), is called in by Reverend Samuel Parris, played by Brent Summerton, to make sense of the girls’ behaviour.

He comes with hopes of not jumping to conclusions that witchcraft is being practiced, but soon he too begins to see work of the Devil. Something he later comes to regret when he finds blood on his hands.

The High Court becomes involved, and things start to get really out of control. People left, right and centre and being accused of witchery and conversing with the Devil. Those that “confess” are ostracised, and those claiming innocence are sentenced to be hanged.

A major turning point arrives when Proctor’s wife, Elizabeth, played by Andrea Becker, is accused by Abigail. Becker gave a hearty performance that really got me investing my emotions into the play. The suffering she was facing as a cheated wife who remained loyal, but also at times a cold woman, was displayed as if it were her own.

Proctor becomes determined to prove his wife’s innocence. He encourages his house maid, Mary Warren, played by Michaela Sherry, to admit that her and the other girls’ witnessing of spirits and other such natures were false. However, this does not all go as planned.

The second half of the show had me on the edge of my seat and built to a spectacular finish. Scenes in the court at times gave me goose bumps.

All performances were wonderful. There was such a large cast it is impossible to mention everyone, but they really were exceptional at working together to give a great show!

I have to give special mention to Brenda’s direction, costume and design, and to the great lighting for the night time scene that ended the show.

I must note that each half went for approximately one hour and twenty minutes, for those that are not expecting such a long show. However, this time is used wisely and not a moment is wasted.

I recommend that everyone check out this play, and come away feeling as thrilled as I did.

The Crucible continues until June 7. Bookings on 07 3379 4775.

KELLY SCOTT May 23, 2008


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