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During the 1950s in the USA, Senator McCarthy became paranoid about Communism. His madness resulted in years of accusations, counter-accusations, arrests, bullying and lies. Charlie Chaplin and six other stars were blacklisted by Hollywood as a result and more were demonised. Danny Kaye, Lucille Ball and Helen Keller all fell foul of the lies. It was a terrifying period in US history and Miller struggled through it himself, eventually accused because he refused to tell on other people who’d attended meetings with him. The play he wrote in response, in 1953, is now an all-time classic, widely regarded as a masterpiece.
Make your way to the magnificent National Theatre for a remarkable production of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. It’s on stage from early June 2023 to September for a strictly limited season and has already gathered a host of dazzling reviews. This is a powerfully gripping parable exploring the abuse of power, set in the 1600s in the so-called ‘Christian’ town of Salem, where hysteria overtook common sense amid widespread accusations of witchcraft. Twenty people were executed, many more arrested, and it forms a potent allegory for McCarthy era. Not to be missed.