A round-up of reviews for The Crucible at the Old Vic Theatre starring Richard Armitage.
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.”
“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:
“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
Average rating score for this production:
"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."
"[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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
Date: 4 July 2014
Written by: WestEndTheatre
Tags: Richard Armitage, The Crucible, The Old Vic