Arthur Miller’s story of deception, rumours and witchcraft has been a well-loved play since the 1950s and with themes of love, loss and small-town gossip, it’s still as relevant now. 

Based on the Salem Witch Trials, Miller used real names and relationships from 1692 to create an uneasy world in which families and communities become pitted against each other. 

Apollo Productions, a relatively new local theatre company, have chosen The Crucible for their fourth production, and it’s a brilliant choice for the youthful cast and crew. 

The young girls who were behind the accusations are led by Grace Riach’s Abigail Williams, whose dramatic gesturing makes her a realistic teenage fantasist. 

Maddy Barnes’ Mary Warren becomes one of the play’s most engaging characters, played with a nervous, realistic energy. 

With the audience seated surrounding the stage, this is an involved and impressive production. 

The sound is perfect, with breathy sighs building an eerie, tense atmosphere. 

The lighting is unobtrusive but adds to the ambience, particularly in the disturbing opening scene. 

The scenes are well-rehearsed and thorough, with Louis Livesey-Clare’s portrayal of John Proctor being particularly striking, passionate and strong. 

Anna Fenton-Garvey’s calm Elizabeth Proctor is a relieving and believable foil to the louder and more hysterical other characters.  The play continues until the 14th and is highly recommended. 

Four stars