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This Season at Stratford

Somewhat flawed

“This is a somewhat flawed staging that, while entertaining and relevant in today’s digital world and sprinkled with some outstanding performances, director Jonathan Goad’s offering is drowned out by all the shouting…

One would think that much of the shouting on stage would have been pulled back by Goad, if only because there was so much of it there was little room left for big emotions by the start of the second act. Does someone who wields such enormous power as Deputy Governor Danforth (Wayne Best) really need to shout for others to do his bidding? Goad might have directed Sean Arbuckle to actually need his walking stick with a consistent limp.”

Stratford Festival
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Recent Review

Empathy for the young women of Salem

“… in a post-#MeToo Canada, how do we receive this play that warns us of the dangers of believing a group of young girls who say they’ve been abused and manipulated? Contemporary audiences may have unprecedented empathy for the young women of Salem, grasping their first tastes of power and agency even when it careens out of their control — in particular, ringleader Abigail Williams (Katelyn McCulloch), whose sexuality poses the biggest threat to the moral code in Miller’s Salem…

Goad points a condemning finger toward forces beyond this group of young women, who are constantly handled by older men — they grab their arms, squeeze their mouths, press down on their necks in this extremely physical production. And even in their rebellion, there’s warmth and solidarity among the girls; when Abigail is called a whore and humiliated in public by the man who broke her heart, they all cry. It’s a final reminder of their oppressive situation, despite the power they feel.”