The Crucible review: NT Live[star rating=”6″] THE CRUCIBLE. NT Live screening. By Arthur Miller. Directed by Lyndsey Turner. With Brendan Cowell, Erin Doherty, Eileen Walsh and many more. Ster-Kinekor Cinema Nouveau.


I say it every time. These NT Live screenings give me life. This production of The Crucible is the best one I have ever seen. Like many of us, I know the play well. I have been in more than one production of it, and I have seen a few too, but this is the first time the true, bleak horror of the text resonated from the very moment it started, and did not relent, right to its bitter, inevitable conclusion.

I am going to write here as if everyone knows the play a little bit. It is about the Salem witch trials. And it is about repression and religion and misogyny and bigotry and cruelty and panic. Which is why watching the production now is so horribly, uncomfortably relevant, and desperately sad. It is heartbreakingly obvious that history repeats itself over and over and over again, and we are caught in the wake of the pendulum swing right now.

This production is seriously next level. The styling, set, costumes, staging, lighting is all genius. And then there is the rain. And then there are the performances. I have never seen anything like it. I held my breath, I sobbed, I wanted to shout out, I knew what was coming and still I couldn’t believe it was happening. It is like experiencing raw emotional electricity.

Superb, magical, lyrical, magnetic performance

Nuance, detail, energy, commitment, teamwork, characterisation, passion, size, from even the smallest cameo. John Proctor (Brendan Cowell) grows on you, and before you know it you are weeping for him. But if I name him, I will be forced to name everyone and there is no weak link here, only superb, magical, lyrical, magnetic performance.

If you read this at school, if you saw a production, if you were in one once, or if you don’t know the first thing about The Crucible, let this be how you see it. Let this be how you feel it. Let this be how you remember it. In your heart, body, and soul.

What: The Crucible

When: 11 November at 5.30pm, with three further screenings on 12 November at 2.30pm and on 15 and 16 November at 5.30pm

Where: Rosebank Nouveau in Johannesburg, Ster-Kinekor Brooklyn in Pretoria, Ster-Kinekor V&A Waterfront in Cape Town and Ster-Kinekor Gateway in Umhlanga

Tickets: Ster-Kinekor