Directed for cube theatre, The Crucible was performed at The Minack Theatre in September 2016. With a cast of 30 and production team of 10 this was a production of epic scale and big heart. "The danger is palpable. At intense moments, members of the audience can be seen leaning in, literally on the edge of their seats, anxious to know the fate of the characters" Georgia Raybould, HFC New Reviewer
"The Crucible at the Minack was the simply the best thing I've seen there. Cube/Ben Symes as producer and Roseanna as director managed to do that rare Minack thing of providing such compelling and atmospheric storytelling that the physical environment of the Minack was unable to upstage them. In fact, if anything, it felt like the coast, the sunset, the moon across the water, the horizon all bowed down and offered what they could to the drama. And like all brilliant productions the skill lay in not letting anything interfere with the audience's emotional involvement, its capacity to be simply engrossed. This is so much harder to achieve than these words imply. It was unaffected, truthful, intelligent, and, when necessary, completely beautiful. The acting, the pacing, the development, the ratcheting, all totally spot-on. I cared about all of the characters, and the play lived me for a long time afterwards. There's nothing more you can ask from a piece of theatre." Jon Welch, Pipeline Theatre
We have turned a story of women in peril into one about perilous women” Stacy Schiff, The Witches, Salem 1692
Salem was a village perched on the edge of the wilderness… the danger of the unknown lying just beyond.
For me, this is a play about fighting for survival. Each character has fundamental flaws but essentially they are all trying to survive, this instinct paired with a deeply repressed society makes for conflict that very quickly spreads like wildfire.
I believe the play and its themes connect us on a very human level. It is a play about vulnerability, fear, integrity, truth and power. It was written in the 1950s about the 1690s... and here we are in 2016 as vulnerable as ever. Political states functioning on fear and blame are all too familiar.
For our production I wanted to bring to the forefront the sense of nature and the elements. Transcending time and place, that is the thing that connect us all. Earth, Water and Fire all feature within the set and represent something bigger than the human ego.
I first read The Crucible as a teenager when studying it at school. As an adolescent experiencing all sorts of high-emotion this epic play that deals with high drama appealed to me. It is fearless in its attempt to ask difficult questions. What is truth? And therefore what is your reality? What matters to you? What legacy would you like to leave behind?
I feel it also asks us to be kind, to be brave, and above all to be true to yourself. For at the end of the day, whatever you believe in, whether it be heaven, hell, a higher being or just a big expanse of air above us, it is something bigger than all of us. And it will have the last word.
And so I welcome you, to join us in what has already been a fascinating and wonderful adventure for the cast and creative team. Settle back into your seats in this very special setting, breathe in the sea air and come with us on a journey as we tell you a tale of a community perched on the edge of the wilderness…
Photos by John Freddy Jones