June 1968. This was Linda's first part in a major production at the Independent, as Mary Warren.
The programme for 'The Crucible'.
The Cast (in order of appearance) was:
|Reverend John Hale
|Deputy Governor Danforth
|The play produced by Alexander Hay
Some encouragement from Keith Dobinson (Reverend Parris)
From the 'Thepsis', the Independent's newsletter:
Keith Dobinson tried to characterize Parris, but for me he made the mistake of making him so patently evil right from the start that I doubt if Hale or the Judges would have believed the trials all that necessary. I think this character needed sharper delineation in the first act particularly, showing a more genuine sense of misguided fear and zeal, a selfish, foolish man but not wholly evil. But even within Keith's conception of the role, I found the playing superficial.
Susan Lloyd was good as Betty Parris. Look forward to seeing you play an adult one of these days Sue.
Susan Borsay gave a very interesting performance as Tituba, and did very well. I could have donev with more hysterical fear in her interrogation scene however.
Maureen Gray was disappointing as Abigail. We needed to see more of the steel and power to dominate and manipulate others in her scheming. We got the sweet simple girl nearly all the time, and she missed the opportunities to make us go cold when she was pretending to see the devil or other apparitions. The whole of the first scene between Abigail and Parris needed much more pointing to bring out the facets of these characters much more clearly. I did feel the first act was hampered by the set which allowed so little room for movement, although it worked extremely well for the rest of the play.
Audrey Harvey had a good stab at Ann Putnam, but this pewrformance needed sustaining very much more, and sharper charaterization. I did feel for instance that grief at the loss of her children was very real.
George Carter did well as Thomas Putnam, though he could have had more feeling that he was one of the leading citizens of the town in his opinion at any rate, and therebt be a bit pompous perhaps, a slightly fuller character.
Mercy Lewis played by Kerry Brockman was very good indeed.
Linda Horne did very well as Mary Warren. Very believable and very well sustained. Would have liked to see more self importance and assertion when she first comes into the Procter's home after the trial before subsiding to her more timid state. Voice needs working on Linda.
Rebecca Nurse as played by Cynthia Shneider was a good attempt, particularly in the last act. I would have liked more command and power in the first act to believe she was such a respected person in Salem.
Stewart Wauchop had a good try at Giles, but did not look neraly old enough and I thought he could have been a great deal more cantankerous.
Bill Shanahan did very well as Hale, the well meaning and sincere man believing himself initially to be on the right path. I think should he have had more zeal in the first act, and been more in command and sure he had all the answers throughout, the play would have been more effective.
Eileen Charles made Elizabeth too flat I thought. If this had been played at a slower pace, I thought, we would have felt that this woman found it hard to express herself and put her feelings into works, and we wanted to feel her struggling to do just this. We got the cold puritanical side of this person, but none of the deep love she really felt for her husband, the thoughts behind the text just weren't coming through. It needed deeper charaterization altogether, to get the fullness of Elizabeth, especially in the last act.
Chris Miller did a very creditable job on Francis Nurse. Well sustained.
John Bush was excellent as Ezekiel Cheever, using not many lines to get a very real character and sustaining it throughout.
David Fraser, Yvonne Milbus and Ken Dumpleton did well, though the latter could have characterized the man a bit more.
Prue Young was very good as Sarah Good.
John Cobley - congratulations. A lovely performance - full of power, intimidating, in control the whole time with all the thoughts of the character coming through at all times. Very good.
And lastly Roy Graham. Excellent, Roy, this character really grew through the play, we believed in you and shared your thoughts and feelings. My only criticism was in the first act when I felt you should have been more tempted by Abigail's importunings, you seemed to find it very easy to renounce her! But very well done.
.... Gillian Owen
The critics' responses:
STUDENT TALENT OF HIGH ORDER
Student playing of notably high order is to be seen in the Independent Theatre School of Dramatic Art performances of "The Crucible".
Producer Alexander Hay's skilful deployment of the considerable talent available helps greatly in realisation of the dramatic power and menace in Arthur Miller's play.
Roy Graham is perhaps strongest as the rugged John Proctor, but there is convincing work also by Bill Shanahan as the Reverend Hale, Eileen Charles as the steadfast Goodie Proctor, Linda Horne as weak Mary Warren, Maureen Gray as the cunning Abigail and Keith Dobinson as the snakey Reverend Parris.
With the drama on this year's High School syllabus, it is deservedly drawing capacity houses.
There will be another performance at 5 p.m. on Sunday and performances at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. the following Sunday.
... The Sun, June 1968
by Dorothy Darlington
There is some excuse for excitement in seeing performances by students and "picking the winners" who may be the future stars of the stage. The Independent Theatre School of Dramatic Art's production of "The Crucible" was a rewarding field in this respect.
Under the discerning direction of Alexander Hay, these young players gave a very mature interpretation of Arthur Miller's terrifying play.
Roy Graham was probably the most seasoned actor and gave an admirably balanced performance as John Proctor - Cynthia Shneider played Rebecca with depth and understanding.
Impressive also were Eileen Charles, Linda Horne and Bill Shanahan.
The Independent's staging of "The Crucible" will be greatly appreciated by students for whom the play is set in their English course. Adults also will find first class entertainment in this mature presentation of Arthur Miller's terrifying play which is based on the Salem Witch Trials of last century.
Staged by the Independent Theatre School of Dramatic Art, with a balance of experienced players amongst the up-and-coming juniors, the production of Alexander Hay never flags for an instant and sees some fine acting from Bill Shanahan, Roy Graham, Cynthia Schneider and Linda Horne.
General exhibition.(Independent Theatre).
... Catholic Weekly, Friday June 21 1968
The season was extended
In the days of telegrams - a telegram from Yolande advising of the lack of need for a rehearsal that evening, 30th April 1968