The play was first performed in January 1953 at the Martin Beck Theatre, New York. The British premiere was at the Bristol Old Vic in 1954.
The play paralleled the investigations of the House of Un-American Activities Committee in the USA in the 1950’s – a communist witch-hunt in which Arthur Miller and many of his friends became embroiled. Miller wrote the play as an allegory of the McCarthy trials and based the story upon the 17th century witch hunts that took place in the Puritan community of Salem, near Boston, Massachusetts.
In Salem a group of teenage girls are found dancing in the woods. Dancing is forbidden in this Puritan community. Mysteriously, many of the girls fall ill with supposed hallucinations and seizures and suspicion falls on Tituba, a black slave, who is thought to dabble in the ‘black arts’. Soon accusations of witchcraft fill the village, fuelled by Abigail Williams, the girls’ ringleader, who with Tituba accuses various townsfolk of conspiring with the devil. The community is beset with jealousies and bitter quarrelling and deeply held grudges rise to the surface. Local farmer, John Proctor, suspects Abigail of being a fraud, but is afraid to denounce her as he had an affair with her when she was working at his house and he fears for his good name. Jealous and vindictive, Abigail accuses Proctor’s wife, Elizabeth of dealing with the devil and she is arrested. Finally John does what he believes is right, is himself accused and he is executed. The behaviour of the people of Salem results in tragedy and the community is left with its conscience in tatters.
This amateur production is presented by arrangement with Josef Weinberger Ltd.
Wednesday 27th to Saturday 30th September, 7.30pm
Tickets: Full £11 and Concession £9
Show dates: 27/09/2017 - 30/09/2017Book Now