Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Sydney Theatre Company presents
by Arthur Miller
‘….though our hearts break, we cannot flinch; these are new times, sir. There is a misty plot afoot so subtle we should be criminal to cling to old respects and ancient friendships. I have seen too many frightful proofs in court – the Devil is alive in Salem, and we dare not quail to follow wherever the accusing finger points!’
In this astounding modern classic, Arthur Miller chronicles the horrors and corruption of the Salem witch-trials of 1692. A powerful allegory for what Miller considered to be a witch-hunt in his own time – the House Un-American Activities Committee hearings – the play examines justice, injustice, honour and courage.
The Crucible opens as Reverend Parris weeps at his ailing daughter’s bedside. His fear is that she has been possessed by a dark magic and that the same force is tightening its grip on others in Salem. As suspicion spreads, the deeply pious village descends into a religious and moral hysteria, as it attempts to define the beliefs at the community’s very foundation.
Brilliant young director Tanya Goldberg will realise an abridged version of Miller’s masterpiece, exposing the unnerving immediacy of the timeless work. This bold, contemporary production will reveal the multiple layers of allegory, demonstrating that this is as much a play for our own time as it is was for Miller’s.