As one who will not be able to experience the exquisitely talented British actor Richard Armitage portray John Proctor in The Crucible in person, I was thrilled to see even a snippet of a few scenes montage in the BBC Breakfast interview broadcast yesterday:
“BBC Breakfast interview with Richard Armitage from today July 14, 2014.” a video by cassiopeia2006
The power of Richard Armitage’s deeply resonant voice and his taut body in total focus as John Proctor in The Crucible is intense and riveting. You believe that he is a man caught in a whirlwind of lies and hysteria spinning out of control–as he becomes powerless to do anything about it, let alone save himself. The symbolic washing of John Proctor’s hands and face–is a cleansing ritual with no redemptive power for Proctor. He is lost, finished, and sentenced to be executed–for a crime he did not commit, his guilt lying elsewhere. When Proctor moanfully cries “god is dead”, I can feel his desperation. I am still trembling.
I can’t even imagine how someone sustains that level of electrifying performance for three and a half hours, eight times a week. Many who have seen the play said that as an audience member, they are spent after experiencing the performance by Richard Armitage and Samantha Colley and the fine ensemble of actors around them. So the actors, themselves, have to be exhausted–emotionally and physically. In bringing Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible to life, the actors recreate a harrowing chapter in American history, that is as chilling with its parallels to modern times–the McCarthy era witchhunts of the 1950’s are but one example.
And since I live in Illinois–4,000 miles away from London–I will have to content myself with these screencaps that I made of The Crucible scenes montage from the BBC Interview:
And add to the mix, RANet (www.RichardArmitageNet.com) sharing a link to the Londonist that had a fabulous review of Richard Armitage portraying John Proctor in The Crucible (image right):
“Even more so, Richard Armitage’s flawless portrayal of John Proctor will stay with you for a lifetime. His version of the deeply troubled anti-hero may well rocket John Proctor into your mind as one of the greatest on-stage characters of modern times. He’s a fallen man, having inadvertently caused the whole witch-hunt via his adultery with the main ringleader Abigail Williams, played mercilessly, ruthlessly, with sparkling evil by Samantha Colley.
Armitage erupts with guilt, pride, regret and courage; the struggles of his psyche brought dazzlingly to life through the murky grey light of a beautifully stark, dark and barren set. His ultimate end is hard to watch, with the rawness of his inner turmoil painfully palpable.”
If you can, go see this play, The Crucible, at The Old Vic Theatre in London. Its performances run through September 13th, 2014.