WHEN this play is well done, you should feel well and truly out of your comfort zone and desperate for the voice of reason to win the day.
As captivating as Miller’s masterpiece is, I always feel like I’m trapped on a fairground ride, screaming to get off and my screams are falling on deaf ears.
For this play, inspired by the notorious Salem witch hunts, has lost none of its power to shock. Of course it’s well done, as the director is none other than Joseph Meighan and this is the latest production by Meighan Youth Theatre Productions.
Joseph also took the brave decision to transport the piece to a modern setting and after a period of readjustment, I found myself buying into this. After all, this could be the ridiculously reactionary Bible Belt in the States. Nobody is accused of being a witch these days.
What I did find more baffling though is to replace John Proctor, who remains the voice of sanity and a beacon of decency, with a completely different character. None of these character traits are lost of course, for he is a pivotal character in this devastating drama.
The future of amateur theatre in Trafford looks very bright on the evidence of the powerful and heartfelt performances you can enjoy here.
Particularly impressive are Chris Wagstaff as a snarling grand inquisitor, Deputy Governor Danforth, David Beeby as Reverend John Hale and Eve Rowan, who remains convincingly hateful as the scheming, self-serving Abigail Williams.
John Proctor has been replaced by a character called Proctor - an outstanding Lara Hancox - who along with Tabitha Hughes (Elizabeth Proctor) make you care deeply about what happens to them.
Another hit for this dynamic young director and a company steeped in talent. If you think you knew youth theatre, you’ve never seen an MYT production.
Until March 30. The box office is on 0161 928 1677. Star rating - ****