A 360 Degree View of Richard Armitage’s Portrayal of John Proctor is Coming Up in The Crucible this Summer, April 16, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #548)

Like everyone else among my friends who admire the exquisitely talented British actor PastelBackgroundApr1514GratianaLovelace--pointillized-horiz-eggshapedRichard Armitage, I am tickled pink, purple, yellow, and green–upcoming Easter egg colors, don’t you know, Ha!–that he will be performing in The Old Vic’s June 24 to September 13, 2014 production of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible!

aaTheCruciblePosterTopHalf_Apr1514TheOldVic

bTheCrucible-Play-Dates_Apr1514TheOldVic

cTheCrucible-Cast-Announcement_2565-fitandcrop-1200x1200_Apr1514TheOldVic

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TheCrucible--RA participation via DailyMailArticle-Apr1114ranet-GratianaLovelace-recrop-resized-shrp
(The Daily Mail article above is courtesy of http://www.RichardArmitageNet.com April 11th news)

The Crucible is a great play–and not just for the way it reflects the historical themes of lust TheCrucible--Armitage-and-Colley_FanPosterApr1514alSofa_andCarpet_sizedand intolerance and love and betrayal and revenge and morality and power and hypocrisy and ethics, etc., from two eras three centuries apart! At right is a lovely fan made poster for Richard Armitage and newcomer Samantha Colley (portraying Abigail Williams) starring in The Crucible created by Richard Armitage (Mr. Thornton) al Sofa and Carpet. Miller’s 1953 play The Crucible chronicles the fictional happenings in a Salem Witch Trials era late 1600’s town, sadly reflective of the hysteria and accusations of witchcraft that claimed the lives of innocent people. For more about the play, The Crucible, visit this Spark Notes site.

But The Crucible was also about modern times in 1938 to 1950’s America when patriotism was at a fever pitch during and after WWII. A time when being interested in communism or socialism would get you labeled UnAmerican and summarily blacklisted–as in prevented from working and earning living, unless you used a pseudonym or had someone else pass off your work as their own. This modern day hysteria came to the forefront for creative types with the nine day hearing by the House UnAmerican Activities Committee (HUAC) in late November 1947 that resulted in prominent filmmakers being blacklisted and who became known as the Hollywood Ten.

And it is interesting to note that although Miller’s play was first performed in 1953, it wasn’t until 1956 that he was called before HUAC to name names–trying to pressure him to identify and bear witness against his friends and colleagues, to save himself. Unlike others, Miller did not betray anyone, but “Miller’s experience with HUAC affected him throughout his life.” Born in 1915, Arthur Miller died in 2005–eight months shy of his 90th birthday. But what a legacy he left!

And now The Old Vic will produce a new version of The Crucible–with South African dTheOldVic-Theatre-in-the-round_2411-fitandcrop-1200x1200_Apr1514TheOldVic-crop-sizedplaywrite and director Yael Farber directing and Soutra Gilmore serving as the designer. And this version of the play will be performed in the round in The Old Vic’s beautiful theatre (right). I’m in awe of actors anyway, but to have a 360 degree view of them as they share the story through their character portrayals must be an amazing experience. The stage here looks quite small–though visual perspective might be deceiving here–with the seating so close and intimate that everyone looks to have an excellent view. Our own community’s annual Summer Shakespeare Festival is three quarters round–leaving the back wall for balconies, entrances, and exits, etc.

But at The Old Vic theatre, how are the actors going to perform–allowing everyone good view–without seeming like they are turning around on a spit, or on microwave turntable? I think the logistics of theatre in the round performance will be just as crucial as portraying the torment of the characters–and to make the adjustment the actors have to make for theatre in the round seem effortless and not noticeable.   And then there is the notion of how detailed the sets might be–my layperson’s guess is they will have minimal sets/props/artifacts that are suggestive and evocative of a place and time, but that costuming and makeup will be very important.

However, I imagine that performing The Crucible in a theatre in the round format is both a THAUJ--RichardArmitage-asThorin-running-through-fire-Videoblog7-pix04_Apr1514ranet-crop-sizedthrilling and a terrifying feature of this production. As an audience member I would find it thrilling.   And Richard Armitage has run through real fire (THAUJ, right), been waterboarded twice for tv roles (Spooks; and Strike Back Origins), and almost drowned a couple of times (Captain America, The First Avenger; and THDofS), so theatre in the round is probably like a walk in the park to him. Richard Armitage, the man and the actor, is fearless–and I predict that he will dig deep within his own psyche and experiences to bring to vivid life the character of John Proctor whose torments of desire, self loathing, betrayal, humanity, and morality, will enthrall, disgust, and move his audience to tears.

But alas, I will not be able to attend the play and experience what I know in my heart will be another riveting character portrayal by Richard Armitage. The distance from Illinois to London would require plane travel–something I haven’t done for fifteen years (I’m a fraidy cat), since our vacation to Florida. Then there is the whole travel cost factor–probably about a mortgage payments worth. And as much as I would love to be sitting in the audience to see Richard Armitage perform this wonderful play, my practical nature won’t let me splurge using money designated for other things. So Mr. Armitage and The Old Vic’s ArtisticDirector Kevin Spacey will either need to bring this production to Broadway–hint hint, NYC is accessible by train for me–or The Old Vic will have to tape a performance and broadcast it via the BBC and/or PBS’ Masterpiece Theatre for myself and others to be able to see it. The Old Vic could really make a tidy sum on the broadcast rights and dvds–and that would surely help fund their productions and educational programs.

And since my hubby and I can’t travel across the pond to see Richard Armitage performing TheOldVicDonationPageApr1514TheOldVic-sizedin The Crucible, we have made a modest donation to The Old Vic, under my real name, Ha!–to help support their productions and educational programs, in honor of Richard Armitage. And I’m a huge fan of The Old Vic’s Artistic Director, Kevin Spacey–a fellow Yank–who is one of the United States premiere actors. Gosh!   I wish I could also experience Mr. Spacy’s Clarence Darrow one man show at The Old Vic. If you would also like to donate to The Old Vic, here is the link for The Old Vic Support Us page (right; notice Michelle Dockery of Downton Abbey fame portraying Eliza in The Old Vic’s 2008 production of George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion):

P.S. A reminder: The Old Vic’s page has donations in British Pounds Sterling. So if you are doing a currency converter for your country, be sure that you go pounds to your currency–not the other way around. Otherwise, you might end up donating a little bit more than you intended–like me. Ha! Oh well. It’s for a good cause, the arts!

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About Gratiana Lovelace

Gratiana Lovelace is my nom de plume for my creative writing and blogging. I write romantic stories in different sub genres. The stories just tumble out of me. My resurgence in creative writing occurred when I viewed the BBC miniseries of Elizabeth Gaskell's novel North & South in February 2010. The exquisitely talented British actor portraying the male lead John Thornton in North & South--Richard Crispin Armitage--became my unofficial muse. I have written over 50 script stories about love--some are fan fiction, but most are original stories--that I am just beginning to share with others on private writer sites, and here on my blog. And as you know, my blog here is also relatively new--since August 2011. But, I'm having fun and I hope you enjoy reading my blog essays and my stories. Cheers! Grati ;-> upd 12/18/11
This entry was posted in Drama, Giving, John Proctor, Love and Relationships, Richard Armitage, Romance, scary, Something About Love, The Crucible, Theatre and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to A 360 Degree View of Richard Armitage’s Portrayal of John Proctor is Coming Up in The Crucible this Summer, April 16, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #548)

  1. April 16 & 29, 2014–Thanks for liking this post!

    Guylty, Morrighan’s Muse, richardtreehouse, micra1, Servetus, Ania, saraobsessed, and april73

    Like

  2. April 16, 2014–Velvet at her Morrighan’s Muse blog also has a lovely essay about The Crucible–with some extended quotes you’ll enjoy reading:

    http://lovesexandotherdirtywords.com/2014/04/15/arthur-millers-important-theme-behind-the-crucible/

    Like

  3. Thanks for the informative post! Definitely a lot more information for me to read about The Crucible.

    I’ve been on a the ebb part of the RA fangirling of late (unless it’s the bearded RA we’re talking about, but then that’s the muse) so I’ve no interest in going to London to see him specifically – I’m also in L.A. and with a toddler, you’re right about the cost equaling a mortgage payment, that’s for sure! If I were still single, I’d be able to hop on over there no problem because my uncle works for the airlines and I used to get buddy passes, but I’ve put those days behind me for now.

    I will check the Old Vic website and make a donation myself. Thanks for the heads up on that :)

    Like

    • Hi Velvet,
      Thanks for your nice note! Blessings to you having a toddler! I would guess that your life is quite exciting. Little ones share with us their wonder of the world as they learn grow, giving grownups a rediscovery of their own inner child. I’m speaking as a doting aunt, remembering when my nieces and nephews were little.
      There are a lot of us because of distance and such who won’t be able to make the trip to London for the play, and Richard Armitage’s performance. And well done you for also donating to The Old Vic!
      Cheers! Grati ;->

      Like

  4. Round trip air fare would be about $1,600 for me. Definitely not happening :(

    I will have to rely on all the wonderful information on the internet. I forgot about the House UnAmerican Activities Committee, how long it went on and what a dark time in history that was.

    Like

  5. Perry says:

    A helpful, fun and informative post Grati. I assume we can expect updates, no? :)

    Like

    • Hi Perry,
      Thanks for your kind note. I hope that Richard Armitage and The Old Vic give us updates. Hopefully, Richard Armitage will share more in future interviews that he does after he gets into rehearsals and later into the performances.
      Cheers! Grati ;->

      Like

  6. Servetus says:

    What a kind thing to do!

    It seems a supreme injustice to me that at the point in my life when it would have been no trouble to go to London for a play, he was doing TV, and now that those days are over (at least for the present), he’s on the stage! But it’s going to be exciting to see what everyone else reports who does get to see it and I’m definitely rejoicing with him. I think a performance in the round could be very exciting and will definitely stave off any audience boredom.

    Like

    • Hi Servetus,
      Thanks for your kind remarks! And I agree with you about wanting to have the ability to splurge now and again at this point in my life–and in your case, your life. But my hubby and are lucky in many ways and our needs are few. And of course the whole traveling to London in an airplane thingy isn’t going to happen with me any time soon. Ha!

      I also love immersive theatre where the actors come out from behind you, or are so close that you could literally almost touch them. It makes the theatre experience so much more intimate. And theatre the round for The Crucible will be great. Though I will tell you, that the fire blast effects for one Chicago production of Pumpkinhead(?) based on a Hawthorne story that I went to years ago were a little more real than I would have liked. Ha!

      Cheers! Grati ;->

      P.S. We had our university department Student Awards Luncheon today and our students also give real and gag awards to faculty and staff. At the end, our students/majors gave out their funny Sparkle Awards and gave me a paper and tin foil tiara–the Lady Grati Award is what they called it. I’m kind of an Emily Post kind of gal–prim and proper, and aunt like to them. Ha! The students were very sweet. And this award almost makes for me missing Richard Armitage in The Crucible. Almost. Ha!

      Like

  7. April 16, 2014–RANet (www.RichardArmitageNet.com) tweeted (Thanks!) an RAC (www.RichardArmitageCentral.co.uk) link (Thanks!) for The Old Vic replying that as of now, Richard Armitage is slated for the full The Crucible run. But stay tuned in case press commitments interfere with that.

    http://richardarmitagecentral.co.uk/as-of-now-richard-not-missing-any-crucible-performances/

    Like

  8. April 17, 2014–Seeking clarification about Puritan hair (for John Proctor) due to a Twitter discussion, I found this link. Apparently Puritans didn’t have beards–or long hair, to prevent lice. A pity, because RA looks gReAt with both. Though I prefer his stubbled with longer hair look. Sighhh!

    http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/backissues/2011/07/the-history-of-the-american-beard.html

    Like

    • Meryl Butler says:

      I guess I’m one of the lucky ones who is booked to see Richard, not once but twice! I am only a 30 minute train ride from London. My first visit is on a preview night- before the press night- on my own, and the second with a fellow fan later in the run. It will be interesting to see how the performance’s differ / progress. Needless to say I’m beyond excited at the prospect of seeing Mr A on stage again, and I have never seen this play before.

      Like

      • Hi Meryl!
        You are one lucky lady! I think seeing RA’s performance and the play The Crucible on the first night of Previews will have an electric atmosphere. It will be the first time a full “official” audience will see it–I’m guessing a dress rehearsal will be well attended by family and friends. And the performers are sure to be eager for audience response to them and the play that first night. And then you get to see it again later, too. Fabulous!

        I hope that you will share your first and then your later experiences of seeing RA in The Crucible with those of us who won’t get a chance to see his performance.

        I will be happy to offer you guest post space here on my blog for your “review” of RA for the first night of Previews in The Crucible. However, you may wish to see if one of the “bigger” or better known blogs and bloggers offers you guest post space for your review and experiences of being there–so you have more people who will see it because they have a tons of followers. But my offer still stands.

        I hope that you have a lovely, lovely time!
        Cheers! Grati ;->

        Like

  9. Pingback: Richard Armitage: Above the Title in The Crucible at The Old Vic, April 29, 2014 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #556) | Something About Love (A)

  10. May 06, 2014–The Richard Armitage France blog has an essay about The Crucible with lovely theatre and cast pictures.

    http://richardarmitagefrance.eklablog.com/the-crucible-a107796972

    Their essay is in French. So dust off your French-other Language dictionary, or head over to Google Translate like I do. Cheers!

    Like

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