The Crucible

Play by Arthur Miller. 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.

1956: London Premiere with Michael Gwynn

1965: West End London Revival with Colin Blakely

1980/1981: 1st West End London Revival with Mark McManus

1984: London Revival with Alun Armstrong

1985: London Revival with Matthew Marsh

1990: London Revival with Tom Wilkinson

2006: 2nd West End London Revival with Iain Glen

2010: London Revival with Patrick O'Kane

2014: 3rd West End London Revival with Richard Armitage

The UK Premiere of The Crucible took place at the Bristol Theatre Royal on Tuesday 9 November 1954. Presented by the Bristol Old Vic Company, the cast included Edgar Wreford as 'John Proctor', Rosemary Harris as 'Elizabeth Proctor', Pat Sandys as 'Abigail Williams', Annette Crosbie as 'Betty Parris', and Phytlida Law as 'Ann Putnam'/'Sarah Good', directed by Warren Jenkins, with designs by Patrick Robertson.

Lynn Farleigh has played the role 'Elizabeth Proctor' in two separate London revivals of The Crucible, firstly for the National Theatre at the Comedy Theatre in 1981, and secondly for the Royal Shakespeare Company at Christchurch Spitalfields in 1984.

Arthur Miller's other plays 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.


1956: London Premiere with Michael Gwynn

Opened 9 April 1956 (no previews), Closed 23 June 1956 (in repertory at the Court Theatre (now Royal Court Theatre)

The cast featured Michael Gwynn as 'John Proctor', Rosalie Crutchley as 'Elizabeth Proctor', Mary Ure as 'Abigail Williams', Agnes Lauchlan as 'Rebecca Nurse', Alan Bates as 'Hopkins', Barbara Grimes as 'Sarah Good', Christopher Fettes as 'Ezekiel Cheever', Connie Smith as 'Tituba', George Devine as 'Deputy-Governor Danforth', George Selway as 'John Willard', Helena Hughes as 'Susanna Wallcott', Joan Plowright as 'Mary Warren', John Welsh as 'Reverend Samuel Parris', Josee Richard as 'Mercy Lewis', Kenneth Haigh as 'Reverend John Hale', Marcia Manolesceu as 'Betty Parris', Nigel Davenport as 'Thomas Putnam', Rachel Kempson as 'Ann Putnam', Robert Stephens as 'Judge Haythorne', and Stephen Dartnell as 'Francis Nurse'.

Directed by George Devine and Tony Richardson, with sets by Stephen Doncaster, and costumes by Motley.

Presented in repertory by the English Stage Company.


1965: West End London Revival with Colin Blakely

Opened 19 January 1965 (no previews), Closed 3 July 1965 (in repertory) at the Old Vic Theatre
Returned 14 October 1965, Closed 11 March 1966 (in repertory) at the Old Vic Theatre

The original cast featured Colin Blakely as 'John Proctor', Joyce Redman as 'Elizabeth Proctor', Sarah Miles as 'Abigail Williams', Anthony Nicholls as 'Deputy-Governor Danforth', Barbara Hicks as 'Ann Putnam', Frank Finlay as 'Giles Corey', James Mellor as 'Marshal Herrick', Janie Booth as 'Susanna Walcott', Janina Faye as 'Betty Parris', Jeanne Hepple as 'Mary Warren', Keith Marsh as 'Francis Nurse', Kenneth Mackintosh as 'Reverend Samuel Parris', Michael Gambon as 'Deputy', Michael Turner as 'Ezekiel Cheever', Pearl Prescod as 'Tituba', Peter Cellier as 'Judge Hathrone', Robert Lang as 'Reverend John Hale', Robert Russell as 'Deputy', Sheila Reid as 'Mercy Lewis', Trevor Martin as 'Thomas Putnam', and Wynne Clark as 'Rebecca Nurse'.

During the run Louise Purnell joined the cast to play 'Abigail Williams', Edward Hardwicke joined to play 'Thomas Putnam', Michael Gambon took over as 'Marshal Herrick' with Anthony Hopkins joining to play 'Deputy', Sheila Reid took over as 'Mary Warren' with Petronella Barker joining to play 'Mercy Lewis', and George Innes joined to play 'Judge Hathrone'.

Directed by Laurence Olivier, with designs by Michael Annals, and lighting by Brian Freeland.

This was the first American play to be staged at the National Theatre.


1980/1981: 1st West End London Revival with Mark McManus

Previewed 25 October 1980, Opened 30 October 1980, Closed 10 December 1980 at the National Theatre's Cottesloe Theatre
Previewed 2 March 1981, Opened 4 March 1981, Closed 23 May 1981 at the Comedy Theatre (now Harold Pinter Theatre)

The cast at London's Cottesloe Theatre featured Mark McManus as 'John Proctor', Dinah Stabb as 'Elizabeth Proctor', Caroline Embling as 'Abigail Williams', Alex McCrindle as 'Francis Nurse', Anne Kristen as 'Ann Putnam', Barrie Rutter as 'Ezekiel Cheever', Colette Barker as 'Betty Parris', Dave Hill as 'Reverend Samuel Parris', Derek Newark as 'Thomas Putnam', Edna Dore as 'Rebecca Nurse', Gina Bellman as 'Susanna Walcott', Isabelle Lucas as 'Tituba', J G Devlin as 'Giles Corey', James Grant as 'Reverend John Hale', Jeffrey Chiswick as 'Judge Hathorne', John Tams as 'Marshall Herrick', Peggy Marshall as 'Sarah Good', Stephen Petcher as 'Hopkins', Tony Haygarth as 'Deputy Governor Danforth', Tracy Taylor as 'Mercy Lewis', and Valerie Whittington as 'Mary Warren'.

The original cast at the West End's Comedy Theatre featured Mark McManus as 'John Proctor', Lynn Farleigh as 'Elizabeth Proctor', Caroline Embling as 'Abigail Williams', Ann Raitt as 'Ann Putnam', Brian Glover as 'Hopkins', Colette Barker as 'Betty Parris', Daryl Back as 'Susanna Walcott', Dave Hill as 'Reverend Samuel Parris', Derek Newark as 'Thomas Putnam', Edna Dore as 'Rebecca Nurse', Emily Morgan as 'Mercy Lewis', Gawn Grainger as 'Marshall Herrick', J G Devlin as 'Giles Corey', James Grant as 'Reverend John Hale', Jeffrey Chiswick as 'Judge Hathorne', John Barrett as 'Francis Nurse', Tony Haygarth as 'Deputy Governor Danforth', Trevor Ray as 'Ezekiel Cheever', Valerie Whittington as 'Mary Warren', and Yvonne Brewster as 'Tituba'.

Directed by Bill Bryden, with sets by Hayden Griffin, costumes by Deirdre Clancy, lighting by Rory Dempster, and sound by Chris Montgomery.


1984: London Revival with Alun Armstrong

Previewed 10 December 1984, Opened 13 December 1984, Closed 22 December 1984 (in repertory) Christchurch Spitalfields

The cast featured Alun Armstrong as 'John Proctor', Lynn Farleigh as 'Elizabeth Proctor', Jenifer Landor as 'Abigail Williams', Albie Woodington as 'Ezekiel Cheever', Alibe Parsons as 'Tituba', Brian Horstead as 'Judge Hathorne', Caroline Milmoe as 'Betty Parris', Graham Turner as 'Marshall Herrick', Harriet Bagnall as 'Mary Warren', Ian Talbot as 'Thomas Putnam', Janet Dale as 'Ann Putnam', John Dougall as 'Hopkins', Julia Dearden as 'Marcy Lewis', Julian Curry as 'Deputy-Gov. Danforth', Margery Mason as 'Rebecca Nurse', Paul Webster as 'Rev Samuel Parris', Ron Cook as 'Rev John Hale', Trevor Martin as 'Giles Corey', and William Haden as 'Francis Nurse'.

Directed by Barry Kyle and Nick Hamm, with sets by Bob Crowley, costumes by Fotini Dimou, lighting by Michael Calf, music by Guy Woolfenden, and sound by John A Leonard.

Presented in repertory with William Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale at the culmination of a regional tour.

Prior to London this production, with the same cast, was presented on tour in repertory with Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale as the following venues: Scunthorpe Doncaster Road Baths from Tuesday 28 August to Saturday 1 September 1984; Newbiggin-by-the-Sea Sports and Community Centre from Tuesday 4 September to Saturday 8 September 1984; Worksop Bassetlaw Centre Worksop from Tuesday 11 September to Saturday 15 September 1984; Ripon Cathedral from Tuesday 18 September to Saturday 22 September 1984; Barrow-in-Furness Sports Hall from Tuesday 25 September to Saturday 29 September 1984; Corby Lodge Park Sports Centre from Tuesday 2 October to Saturday 6 October 1984; Wadebridge Royal Agricultural Showground from Tuesday 9 October to Saturday 13 October 1984; Lincoln Cathedral from Tuesday 16 October to Saturday 20 October 1984; Poole Wessex Hall Arts Centre from Tuesday 23 October to Saturday 27 October 1984; Walsall T P Riley School from Tuesday 30 October to Saturday 3 November 1984; Stroud Stratford Park Leisure Centre from Tuesday 6 November to Saturday 10 November 1984; Belfast Whitla Hall from Tuesday 13 November to Saturday 24 November 1984; Workington Morelose Sports Centre from Tuesday 27 November to Saturday 1 December 1984; and Darlington Dolphin Centre from Tuesday 4 December to Saturday 8 December 1984. Note: dates refer to the overall run at each venue, and the actual repertory schedule changed from venue to venue. Following the run in London this production, with the same cast, embarked on a short two-week tour to Poland (Warsaw and Wroclaw) in January 1985.


1985: London Revival with Matthew Marsh

Previewed 28 November 1985, Opened 5 December 1985, Closed 25 January 1985 at the Young Vic Theatre

The cast featured Matthew Marsh as 'John Proctar', Margot Leicester as 'Elizabeth Proctor', Cornelia Hayes as 'Abigail Williams', Abigail McKern as 'Mary Warren', Christopher Robbie as 'Judge Hathorne', Corin Redgrave as 'Deputy Governor Danforth', David Glover as 'Thomas Putnam', Diane Paris as 'Susanna Wallcott', Donald Pelmear as 'Francis Nurse', Geoffrey Beevers as 'Reverend Parris', Hilda Braid as 'Rebecca Nurse', Hugh Ross as 'Reverend John Hale', Maggie McCarthy as 'Ann Putnam', Maggie McCarthy as 'Sarah Good', Mona Hammond as 'Tituba', Mossie Smith as 'Mercy Lewis', Peter Geeves as 'Ezekiel Cheever', Roger Watkins as 'Marshall Herrick', Wendy Nottingham as 'Betty Parris', and Wensley Pithey as 'Giles Corey'.

Directed by David Thacker, with designs by Shelagh Keeqan, and lighting by Paul Denby.


1990: London Revival with Tom Wilkinson

Previewed 25 May 1990, Opened 31 May 1990, Closed 31 January 1991 (in repertory) at the National Theatre's Olivier Theatre

The cast featured Tom Wilkinson as 'John Proctor', Zoe Wanamaker as 'Elizabeth Proctor', Clare Holman as 'Abigail Williams', Bridget Turner as 'Ann Putnam', Carol Starks as 'Susanna Walcott', Charles Simon as 'Francis Nurse', Clare Cathcart as 'Rachel', Cory Pulman as 'Mercy Lewis', David Burke as 'Reverend John Hale', Elizabeth Bradley as 'Rebecca Nurse', Jennifer Hill as 'Sarah Good', Judith Coke as 'Martha Corey', Julia Ford as 'Mary Warren', Keith Bartlett as 'Judge Hathorne', Michael Bryant as 'Giles Corey', Mike Murray as 'First Deputy', Mona Hammond as 'Tituba', Oliver Cotton as 'Reverend Parris', Paul Moriarty as 'Ezekiel Cheever', Paul Shelley as 'Deputy Governor Danforth', Peter Caffrey as 'Marshall Herrick', Peter Stockbridge as 'Hopkins', Seymour Matthews as 'Thomas Putnam', and Sharon Howard as 'Betty Parris'.

Directed by Howard Davies, with movement by Jane Gibson, designs by William Dudley, lighting by Chris Parry, music by Peter Salem, and sound by David E Smith.


2006: 2nd West End London Revival with Iain Glen

Previewed 29 March 2006, Opened 5 April 2006, Closed 10 June 2006 at the Gielgud Theatre

The Royal Shakespeare Company presented Arthur Miller's The Crucible in London for a limited season

Dominic Cooke's acclaimed revival comes into London's West End following a short run at the RSC's Stratford-upon-Avon home.

The cast featured Iain Glen as 'John Proctor', Helen Schlesinger as 'Elizabeth Proctor', Elaine Cassidy as 'Abigail Williams', Alison Garland as 'Mercy Lewis', Caroline O'Neill as 'Ann Putnam', Clifford Rose as 'Francis Nurse', Darlene Johnson as 'Rebecca Nurse', Ian Gelder as 'Reverend Parris', James Laurenson as 'Deputy Governor Danforth', James Pearse as 'Hopkins', James Staddon as 'Thomas Putnam', John Stahl as 'Judge Hathorne', Ken Bradshaw as 'Ezekiel Cheever', Laura Elphinstone as 'Susannah Walcott', Lorna Gayle as 'Tituba', Michelle Terry as 'Mary Warren', Robert Bowman as 'Reverend John Hale', Susan McGoun as 'Sarah Good', Tim Chipping as 'Marshall Herrick', Trevor Peacock as 'Giles Corey', Zoe Thorne as 'Betty Parris', and Catherine Skinner.

Directed by Dominic Cooke, with designs by Hildegard Bechtler, lighting by Jean Kalman, music by Gary Yershon, and sound by Paul Arditti.

Prior to London's West End this production, with the same cast, was presented at the Stratford Royal Shakespeare Theatre - previewed from 16 February 2006, opened on 1 March 2006, and closed on 18 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... 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... Iain Glen plays John Proctor as an earthy American hero, with a John Wayne walk, big slow gestures and rending roars of anguish at the end. Surrounded by tight-pursed men in black and rigid women, he alone exudes a sense of sex and hence of natural life. His is a mighty performance, but he is matched by a cast acting with complete conviction... Robert Bowman is superb as the Reverend Hale, pitching hoarse passion against James Laurenson's excellent, icy Governor... [a] fine and searing piece of theatre." The Sunday Telegraph

The Crucible in London at the Gielgud Theatre previewed from 29 March 2006, opened on 5 April 2006, and closed on 10 June 2006.


2010: London Revival with Patrick O'Kane

Previewed 24 May 2010, Opened 2 June 2010, Closed 19 June 2010 at the Regent's Park Open Air Theatre

Timothy Sheader's revival of Arthur Miller's Crucible in London for a limited season

The cast featured Patrick O'Kane as 'John Proctor', Emma Cunniffe as 'Elizabeth Proctor', Emily Taaffe as 'Abigail Williams', Alexandra Mathie as 'Ann Putnam'/'Sarah Good', Anni Domingo as 'Tituba', Bettrys Jones as 'Mary Warren', Charlie Cameron as 'Susanna Walcott', Christopher Fulford as 'Reverend Parris', Christopher Hunter as 'Judge Hathorne', Ellie Paskell as 'Betty Parris', Gary Milner as 'Marshal Herrick', Lucy May Barker as 'Mercy Lewis', Malcolm Rogers as 'Francis Nurse', Oliver Ford Davies as 'Deputy Governor Danforth', Patrick Godfrey as 'Giles Corey', Paul Kemp as 'Ezekiel Cheever', Philip Cumbus as 'Reverend John Hale', and Susan Engel as 'Rebecca Nurse'.

Directed by Timothy Sheader, with movement by Liam Steel, designs by Jon Bausor, lighting by Paul Keogan, music by Nick Powell, and sound by Fergus O'Hare.

"This is a meaty, strongly atmospheric production... Tim Sheader's production, while perhaps not as nuanced as it might be, certainly hammers home the play as protean metaphor for the ease with which intolerance can become as hysterical as so-called diabolic possession... Patrick O'Kane, with his long hair and flaky demeanour, is an unorthodox John Proctor, more fly-by-night outlaw than tower of decency, which adds an interesting human complexity to what can sometimes be a straight standoff between good and evil... There's excellent support from Philip Cumbus as the increasingly tormented Reverend John Hale and, as the shadows draw in, the audience become locked into the play's unfolding nightmare." The London Metro

"Could the Open Air Theatre, a venue audiences flock to every summer for a meringue-light musical washed down with Pimm's, do it justice? The setting turns out to be the most inspired thing about Timothy Sheader's staging... This outdoor production sacrifices subtlety, but, seated in the park and surrounded by the ominous rustle of trees, you can picture the teenage girls of Salem cavorting in the woods at night. You feel the contagion of their hysteria - how speedily the rumour of witchcraft infects a whole town." The Sunday Times

The Crucible in London at the Open Air Theatre, previewed from 24 May 2010, opened on 2 June 2010, and closed on 19 June 2010


2014: 3rd West End London Revival with Richard Armitage

Previewed 24 June 2014, Opened 3 July 2014, Closed 13 September 2014 at the Old Vic Theatre

A major revival of Arthur Miller's modern classic The Crucible in London presented 'in-the-round'

The cast featured Richard Armitage as 'John Proctor', Anna Madeley as 'Elizabeth Proctor', Samantha Colley as 'Abigail Williams', Adrian Schiller as 'Reverend John Hale', Alan Vicary as 'Ezekiel Cheever', Ann Firbank as 'Rebecca Nurse', Christopher Godwin as 'Judge Hawthorne', Daisy Waterstone as 'Susanah Walcott', Harry Attwell as 'Thomas Putnam', Jack Ellis as 'Deputy Governor Danforth', Marama Corlett as 'Betty Parris', Mayy Weyland as 'Hopkins', Michael Thomas as 'Reverend Parris', Natalie Gavin as 'Mary Warren', Neil Savage as 'Francis Nurse', Paddy Navin as 'Sarah Good', Rebecca Saire as 'Ann Putnam', Sarah Niles as 'Tituba', Tom Peters as 'Marshall Herrick', William Gaunt as 'Giles Corey', Zara White as 'Mercy Lewis', Hannah Hutch, Lauren Lyle, and Catherine Hammond as 'Voice of Martha Corey'.

Directed by Yael Farber, with movement by Imogen Knight, designs by Soutra Gilmour, lighting by Tim Lutkin, and music and sound by Richard Hammarton.

Anna Madeley's London theatre credits include the role of 'Celia' in David Grindley's revival of Christopher Hampton's The Philanthropist at the Donmar Warehouse in 2005.

Jack Ellis' London theatre credits include the roles of 'Mr Jaggers' in Graham McLaren's production of Jo Clifford stage adaptation of Charles Dickens' Great Expectations at the Vaudeville Theatre in 2013; 'Lord Hastings' in Sam Mendes' revival of William Shakespeare's Richard III at the Old Vic Theatre in 2011; 'Nathan Jessep' in David Esbjornson's production of Aaron Sorkin's A Few Good Men at the Haymarket Theatre in 2005; and 'Caliban' in John Retallack's revival of William Shakespeare's The Tempest at the Donmar Warehouse in 1983.

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.