Queen’s Theatre youth group, Cut2, perform Arthur Miller’s Crucible

The Crucible. Front: Heather Shanley
Back (L to R): Hayley Sanderson, Nikhita Lesler

The Crucible. Front: Heather Shanley Back (L to R): Hayley Sanderson, Nikhita Lesler - Credit: Archant

For any acting company, Arthur Miller’s Crucible is not taken on lightly, but when it works it works.

And so it was at the Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch this week when the theatre’s dedicated up and coming youth group ,Cut2, put in a well rehearsed and sound performance of the classic.

The Crucible is known as Miller’s safety net parallel of the hue and cry that swept 1950s America with ignorance and bigotry in a wave of anti-communism that became infamously known as McCarthyism.

Miller suffered at the hands of Senator Joseph McCarthy’s Un-American Activities Committee and used the mirror event of Witch Trials in 1692 Salem as basis for the Crucible.

The young company emerged with great credit for creating an aura of fear and confusion where the loudest voice won.

In particular the climatic court scene can leave people shell-shocked as the fast moving action gives no room for reasonable thought, and they handled it very well.

With a cast of 25 maturing adolescents, they took the play by the throat and emphasised the parallels where fear and ignorance cut cruel chunks out of the victims.

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It was a pleasure to watch, and in particular how Chloe Ramsey, Heather Shanley and George Farmer developed their main roles of Abigail Williams and Elizabeth and John Proctor.

But with any production, it was top to bottom team effort where director Marie McCarthy had drilled the importance of stage craft into her group.

Overall a good performance and worthy of the theatre’s dedication to advancing young talent.

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