I've just been to see the film of the Old Vic production of The Crucible, directed by Yaël Farber with taut, crepuscular choreography, including the meticulous scene changes, highlighting the sense of isolation and repression. Although I have studied the play and seen half a dozen versions of it, I have not watched it since I played the role of Elizabeth Proctor for Wellington Repertory in 2007 (played in this version by Anna Madeley as strangely simple), which messed with my head more than any role I have ever played. This production has reminded me of the following things:
5 Points from The NT Live Crucible:
- When done well, this is a spectacularly gripping and powerfully intense piece of drama; done badly it is very long and boring. Fortunately this was very much in the former category. Although the final act is inescapably somewhat melodramatic and verbose, the three and a half hours of absorbing drama are thoroughly rewarding and sadly still relevant.
- The role of Reverend Hale is one of the best example of the transformation of character an actor could ever hope to play. Adrian Schiller delivers one of the most dynamic performances seen on stage.
- Silence is as important as words, if not more so.
- Those girls are nasty self-indulgent little bitches and they all need a damn good slap.
- I'm still in love with Richard Armitage - he is brilliantly strong but conflicted as John Proctor.