Previewed 24 June 2014, Opened 3 July 2014, Closed 13 September 2014 at the Old Vic Theatre in London
A major revial of Arthur Miller's modern classic The Crucible in London directed by Yael Farber and presented 'in-the-round'.
When young women are discovered trying to conjure spirits, the town of Salem is gripped by accusations of witchcraft. In a community paralysed by fear and religious extremism, recrimination and greed take a deadly hold. Drawing parallels with his own experience of McCarthy's anti-communist investigations in the 1950's, Arthur Miller's The Crucible tells the story of one man's fight to save his identity in a repressive Puritan community where intolerance collides with lust and superstition, fuelling widespread hysteria with tragic results.
The cast features Richard Armitage as 'John Proctor' with Jack Ellis as 'Deputy Governor Danforth', William Gaunt as 'Giles Corey' and Christopher Godwin as 'Judge Hathorne' along with Harry Attwell, Samantha Colley, Marama Corlett, Ann Firbank, Natalie Gavin, Lauren Lyle, Anna Madeley, Paddy Navin, Sarah Niles, Tom Peters, Neil Salvage, Rebecca Saire, Adrian Schiller, Michael Thomas, Alan Vicary, Daisy Waterstone, Matt Weyland and Zara White. Casting subject to change. Directed by YaŽl Farber with designs by Soutra Gilmour, lighting by Tim Lutkin and music and sound by Richard Hammarton. Arthur Miller's other plays recently seen in London's West End include All My Sons, Broken Glass, Death of a Salesman, The Last Yankee, The Price, Resurrection Blues and A View From The Bridge.
When this production opened Charles Spencer in the Daily Telegraph highlighted that in YaŽl Farber's "thrilling production at the Old Vic, which lasts three and a half hours but never loosens its dramatic grip... this harrowing play achieves the intensity of a thriller... even the smallest roles come to full-blooded life in a production of electrifying intensity." Dominic Maxwell in the Times said that "I've seen Arthur Miller's great play many times before, but it has never mesmerised and moved me quite like YaŽl Farber's revival manages to do here... The entire ensemble of 24 ensures that Miller's historical masterpiece feels entirely present-tense." Neil Norman in the Daily Express wrote that "if it was my least favourite Miller play this thrilling production has changed my mind. It is what great theatre is all about. Don't miss it." Michael Billington in the Guardian explained that "the South African YaŽl Farber has come up with an extraordinary production that preserves the integrity of Miller's language while investing the action with a raw, visceral power I've never witnessed... It's tremendous production of a play that retains its disturbing relevance." Paul Taylor in the Independent described how "Yael Farber's mesmerising production of Arthur Miller's great play unfolds with the sick dread of a horrible dream from which you are powerless to awake... There isn't a weak link in Farber's 24-strong ensemble... Unmissable." Quentin Letts in the Daily Mail thought that "at times, the show descends into overblown, shouty portentousness... yet other moments are spellbinding." Henry Hitchings in the London Evening Standard commented that "this revival of Arthur Miller's great play, by South African director YaŽl Farber, is astonishing. The production has a bold simplicity yet grips like the most complex thriller." Sarah Hemming in the Financial Times said that "in a production of stunning intensity... [Yael Farber] and her cast release the harrowing power of this brilliant play."
"It's a bleak reminder of how fear can tear communities apart and this production ratchets up the oppressive atmosphere. A minimal set is coupled with dark, heavy costumes, while burning herbs swathe the stage in mist. Out of the darkness come the actors, with most eyes on Richard Armitage, a smouldering presence as farmer John Proctor, racked with guilt following an adulterous affair. His relationship with his wife Elizabeth, played with beautiful control by Anna Madeley, is the emotional heart of the play: a counterpoint to the savage selfishness of Proctor's one-time lover, teenager Abigail Williams. Occasionally too shouty but with moments of raw electricity. It's worth seeing." The Sunday Mirror
"It's a rare thing to spend a full three and a half hours on the edge of your seat, but it happens in YaŽl Farber's scorching production of Arthur Miller's meaty 17th century-set moral thriller. It grips from the start, as a good man's foolish one-night stand with a dangerous, vengeful maid causes an entire community to implode... Richard Armitage is a blazing John, tormented and guilt-racked. The tension between him and his wife is electric; Anna Madeley's Elizabeth is miserably aware of the 'wintry' house she kept that helped drive him away. Both struggle to shake off their blame, of themselves and of one another, in a raw revival that gets to the bleeding heart of this fine play." The Mail on Sunday
The Crucible in London at the Old Vic Theatre previewed from 24 June 2014, opened on 3 July 2014 and closed on 13 September 2014.
Royal Shakespeare Company presents The Crucible 2006
Previewed 29 March 2006, Opened 5 April 2006, Closed 10 June 2006 at the Gielgud Theatre in London
The Royal Shakespeare Company's acclaimed production of Arthur Miller's The Crucible in London.
The Royal Shakespeare Company celebrates the life and work of Arthur Miller with one of his greatest plays. This is the RSC's first ever major, main stage production of an Arthur Miller play. It is directed RSC Associate Director Dominic Cooke and comes into London's West End following a critically acclaimed season at The Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon where it played a limited season from February to March 2006.
"Iain Glen blazes across the footlights in the performance of his life as the incorruptible but flawed John Proctor in Arthur Miller's great play The Crucible... The Crucible, as with all Miller's best plays, pits personal responsibility against the public good, character and plot working seamlessly together... Glen's sexual magnetism and charisma initially threaten to overwhelm Dominic Cooke's clear and dignified production, but gradually other members of the cast make their presence felt... It is a blessing that this brilliant production has come to town from Stratford to display the cool genius of a playwright with something important to say. More blessed still is the audience which can buy or steal a ticket to see Iain Glen, the actor with the strength, the conviction, and the talent to say it for him." The Daily Express
"What a powerful, moving production of The Crucible Dominic Cooke has directed at the RSC. It is also a refreshingly straight presentation of Arthur Miller's play about a witch-hunt in a Puritan community... Cooke does not heavy-handedly underscore the resonance between the Puritans' paranoid pursuit of 'justice' and aspects of our own war on terror. In his production the inhabitants of Salem wear 17th-century dress, and speak a historically correct mix of East Anglian burr and proto-American. It's an approach that credits the audience with the intelligence to think for themselves." The Sunday Telegraph
"After the fiasco of Resurrection Blues - the late Arthur Miller's unfinished play that opened in London last month - it is a joy to find his earlier work The Crucible in the West End and revealed, in Dominic Cooke's gripping production, as one of the finest tragedies of the 20th Century. Miller found a parallel for the witchhunt of suspected communists in Fifties America with the real-life Salem witch-hunt of the 17th Century. The small town in Massachusetts is peopled by killjoys and curtain-twitchers who are shocked if a neighbour ploughs a field on Sunday. Some teenage girls are so frightened when they are caught dancing outdoors, a few of them naked just for the hell of it, that they insist they were in the grip of witchcraft and accuse several local women of being witches... One of the girls, Abigail, denounces the wife of her former lover, John Proctor, and eventually these two and many others are imprisoned. The conscience of almost every character is put to the test, but it is John's struggle, made scorchingly eloquent by Iain Glen, on which the play centres. This passionate, rugged farmer - a free spirit who strides around in an open-neck shirt and long leather coat when all the others are buttoned up in black - confesses his adultery in order to explain Abigail's vengeful plot to get his wife out of the way. It's not enough. In the agonising climax, he has to choose between his name and his life. Devastating drama, and as pertinent as it ever was, with politicians and leaders today still proving selectively blind and ignoring blatant evidence for their own convenience." The Mail on Sunday
The Crucible in London at the Gielgud Theatre previewed from 29 March 2006, opened on 5 April 2006 and closed on 10 June 2006.