Performance dates: 13 -15 June, 2012. Gulbenkian theatre.
First performed in 1952, The Crucible may reasonably be described as
one of the most profound plays of the post-war world. It is the story
of the Salem witch hunt of 1692. Arthur Miller draws parallels between
this event and the Mc Carthyism that gripped America in the 1950s and
which he himself was caught up in.
In this classic parable of communal hysteria, Miller depicts a society
in which positive evil is unleashed, taking the form of the persecution
of minority groups and the interference of the State in the conscience
of the individual.
As the small Salem community is stirred into madness and the play reaches
its violent climax, the events it describes become a timeless vision of
the evils of mindless persecution. A rending exploration of a community
possessed by the demons of superstition, malice and fear.
As a savage attack on the ills of ideological intensities, The Crucible
Miller based this play on records of a series of witch trials in Salem,
Massachusetts in 1692. The core of his version of these events is a love
triangle involving John and Elizabeth Proctor and their former servant
Along with a number of Salem girls, Abigail has been seen dancing in
the forest and is accused of practising witchcraft. She then becomes chief
accuser in a witch hunt and singles out the innocent Elizabeth Proctor
hoping to supplant her as Proctor’s wife. Things, however, do not
go as planned.
The cast and crew.
Properties: The Crucible
Actor: Dark of the Moon; Night Must Fall.
This is Gill's first attempt at acting since joining the Canterbury Players in 2007 when she appeared in Palace of Varieties.
Gill met several Canterbury Players members while appearing in the community opera Promised Land which was part of the 2006 Canterbury Festival. This venture led to the forming of The Really Promising Company in which Gill has appeared in several shows.
She also appeared on stage as a slave with Ellen Kent's Moldovian Opera Company in Aida at the Marlowe theatre, and as a dead sailor singing Bright Eyes with the Spy Monkeys at the Gulbenkian Theatre in 2009.
This play appealed to Gill because of the fun of a barn dance and the church revival scene. So she was tempted to have a go!
Since joining Canterbury Players Gill has made many good friends and shared a lot of memorable times. She is thoroughly enjoying being part of Dark of the Moon production.
Sound: Colin Sherwood
Rev. Samuel Parris
Assistant Director: Dark of the Moon;
Accrington Pals; Dark of the Moon; The Crucible
Born in Southampton in 1967 and raised in the seaside town of Deal,
Mike embarked on a love of the Arts at very early age, with the Cinema
just down the road from his home and a family TV that for the most part
was always available to him. The eldest of 3 kids to a single hard working
mum he was left pretty much to his devices. Like a lot of kids at that
time the films of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas were a constant source
of entertainment and for Mike, inspiration.
In 1983 at the age of 15 the School he sometimes attended was putting
together the first ever stage version of Alan Parker's Movie Musical ‘Bugsy
Malone’ and Mike was awarded the role of Fat Sam Staccetto.
The performance he gave is still mentioned to him to this day and the
enthusiasm he received from people made him want to do a whole lot more,
yet as he turned 16 and left the family home commitments to work and constantly
changing his address restricted his ability to commit to the roles that
came up in the local Dramatic groups.
It wasn’t until 1999, when he returned to his hometown
of Deal that he was able to really get into a more regular pattern of
drama, switching between the towns two rival groups he found himself performing
in a lot of comedy farce and one or two pantomimes. In 2001 the town had
a new group emerge and the chance to do some more dramatic work presented
itself and Mike soon found himself performing in plays by authors like
Harold Pinter, Debbie Isitt and Eugene O’Neil.
Having lived in the village of Ash since 2003 he has been working with
Players for much of that time and recently performed a play with Ashcan
Theatre Company. He still gets the same buzz backstage now as he did way
back in the summer of ’83 and is always looking forward to the next
exciting challenge to present itself.
Selected work from the past:
An Average Day 2009
Accrington Pals 2007
My Boy Jack 2005
Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime 2004
Hobson’s Choice 2003
Whose Life Is It Anyway? 2003
The Woman Who Cooked Her Husband 2002
Abigails Party 2001
Bugsy Malone 1983
Elizabeth Proctor: Stella Parkinson
Rev. John Hale: Edward Shambrook
Abigail Williams: Hannah Marsden
Betty Parris: Anna Palmer
Actor: Dark of the Moon; The
Importance of Being Earnest; The Crucible
I have always enjoyed acting took part in school plays but really got into acting when I started studying at Canterbury College, where I left with a BTEC National Diploma in Performing Arts (Drama).
Dark of the Moon is my first show with Canterbury Players and I have loved every minute of it!!! Hopefully they will let me back to do more productions.
I would just like to thank all the players for being so welcoming. You're all great!!!!
Actor: Dark of the Moon; The Crucible
Nathalie’s love for the theatre first started at the age of 3 when she was awarded a special diploma for her interpretation of “My Little Pony”. After 10 years of training with several theatre schools, including Sylvia Young’s, she then went on to become a devoted member of Kingston University’s drama group, winning an award for Shakespeare’s "The Tempest".
She has truly loved all the roles she’s been lucky enough to play. However, a recent delve into the world of Shakespeare (playing Beatrice and Lady Capulet) was without doubt one of her most enjoyable acting experiences so far. In 2007, together with a fellow acting colleague, she established "Why Not Theatre Company" in Copenhagen, Denmark. It soon became one of Denmark’s leading English-speaking theatre companies producing a variety of international plays from Ayckbourne to Athol Fugard. Her recent move back to England and her “need” to connect with anything in the thespian world has lead to her finding The Canterbury Players. She is thoroughly enjoying her role in their current production, Dark of the Moon.
Mercy Lewis: Alexandra Johnston
Sid Moon. Actor.
Actor: Blue Remembered Hills;
Tales; Dark of the Moon; Night Must Fall; The Crucible.
My first appearance on stage since leaving school was in 2006 when I appeared in the Canterbury Festival community opera "The Promised Land" performed at the Marlowe Theatre. It was there that I met members of Canterbury Players and finding them such a friendly bunch decided to join.
Since then I have been involved in productions every year, those being "The Palace of Varieties", "Blue Remembered Hills", " Two" and the "Canterbury Tales".
Elswhere I enjoy performing in musical productions and have been in " Titanic" with Herne Bay Operatic Society. "Kentish Tales", "Drood", "Rackrent" and " I've Looked in the Window at Diamonds" with the Canterbury based Really Promising Company.
I am thoroughly enjoying the "Dark of the Moon" and thank everyone involved for allowing me to be part of it.
Hugh Elsom. Actor.
Actor: Arsenic And Old Lace,
Barefoot in the Park; The Crucible.
To quote the bard “One man in his time plays many parts”. That can be said of the characters I have played over the last 50 years. They range from a Knight on murderous intent to the front half of a pantomime horse. However I have always wanted to act in “Arsenic and old Lace” and the character of Dr. Harper is just right for me in the twilight of my career.
Phil Hadland. Actor.
Actor: Arsenic And Old Lace; Dark of the Moon; The Crucible.
After school, many years of university studies, volunteer work and pot
washing, Phil eventually moved to Canterbury for a job in the local museums
service in 2008. His appearance in "Arsenic
And Old Lace" is his first acting role since; when at the age
of fifteen he read the voice of God in a contemporary play about the birth
He enjoys many hobbies including painting, collecting fossils, playing
bass guitar and football. Phil joined the Canterbury Players in the hope
of meeting some interesting, like minded people and to get some experience
of acting. To that end Phil feels he has been successful.
Marshal Herrick: Geoff Morley
Birthday Party; Blue
Remembered Hills; The Crucible
Until April 2006, James (Jim) had spent the past 20 years or so on an
acting break between career engagements, latterly running his own management
consultancy, training and coaching business, People
In his first acting life - primarily for the Cambridge University Players,
at Uni in Birmingham, and the Goodrich Theatre, Putney - he got to play
in different stuff: including a panoply of Shakespeares (Much Ado, As
You Like It, Merchant of Venice, Hamlet), Beckett (Krapp's Last Tape),
Bennett, Simon Gray, Pinter, Edward Bond, Athol Fugard et al.
In late 2005, Pinter's the Birthday Party - in all its non-sequitury
weirdness - re-appeared and he started again....
Dep. Governor Danforth
Sarah Good: Caron Ford-Wilson
Extract from KM Gazette Thursday 21st June 2012
Cautionary tale about society - which could be us.
By Rosemary Walters
The grey trees set against the darkness at the back of the set illustrated
well the aura of repression, hypocrisy and manipulative suggestion which
Canterbury Players successfully created in their production of this study
of human nature and ideological tyranny.
Paradoxically, the lighting was particularly effective in surrounding
the action and dialogue with darkness, reflecting the erosion of decency
and truth as the villagers of Salem in Puritan New England fell victim
to the superstition, human greed, self-delusion and fear behind the infamous
witch trials of the 17th century, just as Arthur Miller himself had fallen
victim to the notorious McCarthy proceedings of 1950s America.
From the moment we saw a bitter and disappointed Rev Samuel Parris (Mike
Rivarno) dither over the nature of his daughter’s sudden illness,
the Canterbury Players showed us very scarily that individuals and their
communities exist on an extremely thin veneer of civilisation. Ed Clark
as John Proctor and Mike Ayris as Deputy Governor Danforth were outstanding
as the protagonists in the power struggle to discern the truth. Because
their characterisations were so consistent and compelling, their confrontation
successfully portrayed the end result of the harrowing descent into terror.
The children of the village, ably led by Hannah Marsden as Abigail Williams,
were deviously convincing as person after person found themselves accused
of witchcraft. Ellie Gee was very good indeed as the gradually disintegrating
Mary Warren. Edward Shambrook as Rev John Hale illustrated the transition
from efficient bureaucrat to agonised self-reproach and Tessa Taylor never
faltered in her portrayal of honest commonsense goodness, mirrored in
the moving younger character of Elizabeth Proctor (Stella Parkinson).
Whenever, she was on stage, Ruth Cameron as Tituba had a commanding presence.
She was entirely believable as a woman out of her culture and a threat
to the narrow-minded pseudo-respectable society to which she had been
Miller’s skill in providing characters with a twist in their past
or a propensity to unwittingly destroy the integrity of the present was
emphasised in this excellent production by director Jill Akhurst in the
pace and generally audible dialogue; hence the various ironies were not
lost on an audience who appreciated the black humour of some of the lines.
We all lived with John Proctor through the terrible intensity of the
final scene. The total cast are to be congratulated. They took us to a
community which could be us and was entirely believable as it destroyed
itself, a warning to our complacency and a challenge to our illusions.