The Crucible preview: Arthur Miller’s ‘Post truth’ play on Salem witch trials still salient with Trump election

PUBLISHED: 12:00 21 January 2017

Charlie Condou and Victoria yeates in character - The Crucible at Queen's

Charlie Condou and Victoria yeates in character - The Crucible at Queen's

Alessia Chinazzo

You may not think a play written in the 1950s about witch trials in the 17th century would have much in common with today’s audiences.

However, with the political hysteria over issues such as Brexit and the US election dividing people, Arthur Miller’s The Crucible remains as significant as it was 60 years ago.

A new version, directed by Douglas Rintoul, will be heading to Queen’s Theatre, in Hornchurch, on February 17, and promises to be an exciting and modern take on the infamous tale.

Coronation Street actor Charlie Condou – now to be seen in ITV police drama Unforgotten – will play the role of Reverend Hale and has been relearning the story after first reading it at school.

He said: “It’s interesting because it was about the Salem witch trials, but of course, it was written about McCarthyism in the United States in the ’50s [when thousands of Americans were accused of being communist sympathisers].

“It does resonate with modern day audiences and looking at America with Trump and living in the era of post-news – that’s the point of the play – that’s what I find interesting.

Call the Midwife’s Victoria Yeates, plays Elizabeth Proctor, the woman accused of witchcraft,and spoke of her excitement of returning to the stage.

“I’m so excited – it’s one of my favourite plays. I’ve always wanted to play Elizabeth Proctor and Douglas is an amazing director.

“I haven’t done a play for five years. I used to mainly just do back to back theatre and then I wanted to do more TV work.

“I’m kind of nervous about everything. It’s like riding a bike again – hopefully I’ll just slip back in and remember,” she told the Recorder.

“I miss how collaborative it is ... every night listening to that person and responding in a different way.”

The Crucible runs from February 17 to March 17. Tickets from £14. Call 01708 443333.

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