Solid showing but not one to remember
Edinburgh Evening News 9th November 2007
The Crucible ***
Church Hill TheatreMike Paton and Ruth McLaren provide strong performances in the central roles of John and Elizabeth Procter, the farmers in Salem, Massachusetts caught up in the witch trials of 1692. They ensure that the unspoken subtleties of their relationship are clearly understood.
LEITHEATRE put in a solid, if sometimes over-shrill, shift in this production of Arthur Miller's classic play - getting to the nub of the matter without adding too many frills.
This is particularly true when it concerns their servant girl, Abigail, played by Vikki Horne. Proctor's previous relationship with her is well established. Paton needs to be more subtle with his controlled rage, but Horne is pure spite as Abigail - clearly the true devil that has come to Salem.
The company ensure that the play's parallels with the McCarthy political trials of the 1940 and 50s are well drawn, thanks to the performances in the court scenes. Billy Renfrew is particularly vicious as the town marshall.
Less believable are the girls accused of witchcraft. Their failure to find a balance between hysteria and being audible allows the whole tension of the piece to dissipate most unsatisfactorily. The other problem is the music used to introduce the different scenes detracts, rather than adds.
A clear, simple set and strong basic standard ensure that this is satisfying, rather than truly memorable.