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A round-up of reviews for The Crucible at the Old Vic Theatre starring Richard Armitage.

Richard Armitage in The Crucible

Richard Armitage in The Crucible

The Crucible opened last night (3 July 2014) at the Old Vic Theatre in London.

Arthur Miller’s modern classic is directed by award-winning director Yael Farber and stars TV and movie star Richard Armitage (Captain America: The First Avenger, North and South, Spooks, Robin Hood).

The Crucible Reviews

EARLY REVIEWS (Note: these are of preview performances, which is a practice not condoned by most legit press)

Pop-Verse (Megan Leigh)
“the remarkable Samantha Colley arguably steals the show. A relative newcomer, Colley was an interesting choice to cast in such a high-profile role. She delivers on every level.”

Rev Stan
“Armitage certainly didn’t disappoint but then neither did the rest of the cast with Colley making a firm mark in her stage debut. This is a long play – current run time is three and a half hours including interval – and it almost gets away with it but it will be its tone and raw passion that linger long after the tiredness of a late night has subsided.”

PRESS NIGHT REVIEWS:

TheatreCat (Libby Purves)

“It will haunt the memory for months, this profound, dark-lit, smoke-scented deep-booming production of Arthur Miller’s play. In the round arena it creates a ring of pity, guilt and judgement: the physically intense direction of Yael Farber makes Salem’s crazy diabolic terror rise again, as fresh as yesterday and as threatening as tomorrow. ”

SEE MAIN PRESS REVIEWS BELOW

BOOK

Book tickets to The Crucible at the Old Vic Theatre

REVIEWS ROUND-UP

STAR RATING Daily Mail

It is a necessarily claustrophobic story, never easy to watch. You do not go to The Crucible for enjoyment — certainly not here, where director Yael Farber’s time-keeping has run out of control…. 

what a hunk Mr Armitage is. Proctor’s first entrance is greatly powered by this actor’s physical magnificence. He smoulders more than any campfire and projects a palpable earnestness which sits well with his character.”

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STAR RATING The Daily Telegraph

“[The Crucible] now seems to be about the present danger of religious fundamentalism, and of the mindset of those who believe that they should kill in the name of God. In her thrilling production at the Old Vic, which lasts three and a half hours but never loosens its dramatic grip, the South African director Yaël Farber doesn’t labour the point but trusts the audience to make its own connections with our own troubled times. The drama is staged with a mixture of simplicity and dramatic power that builds up an ominous feeling of dread and fear.”

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STAR RATING The Stage

The in-the-round setting has the advantage of implicating us all, but in the first half scene changes are awkward without a blackout. The emotional temperature rises to a stunning crescendo, however, with the hysterical girls moving together like a vicious cloud and flinging their hair in abandon as the innocent are hanged and the righteous bully victims into false confession. The final reconciliation of the Proctors is unforgettable.”

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STAR RATING The Guardian

“Productions of Arthur Miller’s re-creation of the Salem witch hunt tend to be as flinty and hard-edged as the author’s prose. But the South African Yaël Farber, director of an acclaimed Mies Julie, 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.”

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STAR RATING Financial Times

“In a fine ensemble, there are some superb performances: Adrian Schiller as the minister who gradually realises the horror he has unleashed; Jack Ellis as the fanatical judge who would rather hang more innocent people than admit a mistake; Ann Firbank as the quietly sane Rebecca Nurse.

There are flaws that hold the staging back. Farber gilds the lily, adding unnecessary wordless passages and hitting overdrive in places: sometimes quiet threats are more potent than roaring. But she and her cast release the harrowing power of this brilliant play.”

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1 Review

  1. Linda Lowery
    25/06/2014 at 12:50 pm — Reply

    We came to see it on the first night Sat. June 21st, sat 4 rows back from the front. Was mesmerised from start to finish, the most galvanising acting, superb production, excellent performances, so exciting, dramatic, can’t praise it enough! Congratulations to everyone. Captured the mood, and Richard is a superb actor, he makes you feel his frustration, pain anger and sorrow, but also tender with Mary Warren. We’re lucky enough to have a second visit in August bringing son and grand daughter too. It’s the best production I’ve ever seen on stage.There was only one scene which seemed to drag a little and almost seemed unnecessary and that was the second last scene with Goody Good and Tituba and the Marshall (Prison warden.) just a personal observation. Loved the fight scene between Proctor and Abigail.. most of the audience wished they were Abigail! Flew over from S.W. Ireland to see this (Hubby’s b’day present) and thanks a million to Richard for having the patience and kindness to come out and sign autographs and have photo’s taken with his ‘well-wishers’ it certainly was the icing on a very beautiful birthday cake!THANKYOU EVERYONE. ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC!

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