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The Crucible

Based on Arthur Miller's allegorical play set in Salem Massachusetts in 1692 this powerful adaptation portrays the disintegration of a society once superstition and the power of organised religion are exploited to settle scores for personal gain and even survival.

Scottish Ballet
Helen Pickett
James Bonas
Emma Kingsbury and David Finn
David Finn


Peter Salem’s score ingeniously intertwines solemn, liturgical sounds with rich melodies and discordant electronic passages, bringing to life the community’s fear of the supernatural, creating an other-worldliness. The low strings and percussion build unease and tension, then seamlessly evolve into rich, melodic accompaniments to the Proctor’s pas de deux. The incorporation of sound effects throughout, from familiar church and courtroom sounds to whispers, screams and bird calls, mirrors the fear of the encroachment of the supernatural into the community of Salem and the distrust among its population.

Libby Chambers 5 Aug 2019 Reviewsphere

Played live by the Scottish Ballet Orchestra, Peter Salem’s unsettling, detailed and carefully textured score underpins the dark narrative with a light-and-shade balance of bubbling, edgy percussion and zig-zagging strings, weighed-down with ominous bass legato – often rich and rhapsodic, but never murky or dense, and always descriptive.

David White 4 Aug 2019 artmag

Photos: Jane Hobson