Experiencing The Crucible Starring Richard Armitage via DT; & 2015 Olivier Awards, April 12, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #730)

I am stunned beyond my own imaginings after experiencing Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, a 2014--TheCrucible-poster-avail-wRichardArmitageGlaring_Apr0915OldVic-viaVioletDB2014 production of The Old Vic Theatre (right) directed by the talented South African director Yael Farber–via my copy of it purchased through Digital Theatre. My reactions that I share below are my initial visceral responses to what I just witnessed, in viewing it Saturday night.

 

The Story:
Insecurity, neglect, loneliness, longing, lust, adultery, guilt, self-loathing, bitterness, desire, envy, pride, fear, betrayal, deceit, hatred, lies, accusation, frenzy, scorn, persecution, perseverance, contempt, murder, sin, agony, conscience, honor, love, and forgiveness are all in evidence in The Crucible. But no mercy.

And I had made the Richard Armitage wallpaper Proctor quote at right, long before TheCrucible--RichardArmitageasJohnProctorCryingOut_Aug0614byJohanPersson-viaenikoniTweet-GLmask-sized-enl-quote2(Aug0614) I saw the filmed version of The Crucible Saturday as I write this–my only having seen snippets of the play in video trailers. But Proctor’s final rousing “Because it is my name” speech still moved me deeply–then and now–more so for hearing Mr. Armitage proclaim those words so movingly.

In a broad sense, I did interpret one of the play’s messages, as John Proctor wails, that “God is dead” to let such evil flourish. Or that, we are dead if we let evil flourish. Who are we, if we do not stand up for what is right–and to see right done? We are just as guilty if we do not try to see right done.

However in The Crucible, the true wickedness in Salem is not the devil’s work, it is the work of men and women, neighbors, citizens, communities, and of government. And it is evil. With the subject matter of this play–be it the 1672 Salem witch trials, the mid 1900’s House UnAmerican Activities witch hunt hearings promulgated by Senator Joseph McCarthy, or modern day anywhere in the world where people are persecuted.

 

Grati’s aside: And frankly, on a more personal level–of my being a loving and much loved wife of 25 years and counting–I partially blame Elizabeth Proctor for her husband’s demise as much as I partially blame John Proctor, due to his adultery and pride at not wanting to be known as a less than honorable man.

Elizabeth reconciling her husband John’s death TheCrucible--RichardArmitageasProctor-andAnnaMadeleyasElizabeth_Aug0514OldVicfbbecause “He have his goodness now. God forbid I take it from him!”(The Crucible, Penguin Classics, 1995, p. 134) is not what I deem to be the viewpoint of a loving wife. She was a woman made bitter by his adultery, and I sense that in her words. However, if your husband does wrong by you and you cannot live with it, you divorce him–you do not see him killed and think it is a justice.

So I found that particular plotline arc not realistic–unless you read a lot of pulp novels and watch the current tv shows that seem to convey that violence is the only answer to all problems. It should be noted that after the historical John Proctor’s death by hanging, the historical Elizabeth Proctor remarried and had several more children with her new husband. I don’t see her remarriage as her indifference to her husband John Proctor’s death, but rather as her need–as a woman of her time–to gain the protection that a man afforded her then.

The Actors:
2014--TheCrucible--RichardArmitage-interview-pix-byLefterisPitarakis1-26Jun14_Apr1115ranet-sml
John Proctor was movingly and heartbreakingly portrayed brilliantly by British actor Richard Armitage (image left). I wept for John’s disintegration as an honorable man as his life and everything he had built were shattered as he lost his wife and his honor–then found them again in choosing death over lying to save himself. Proctor loved fiercely. And a man with 14 children certainly has prodigious sexual appetites–as the actor Richard Armitage once asserted as part of his character motivation. His first kiss with Elizabeth showed the strain of their relationship. But John’s and Elizabeth’s last and final soul searing kisses conveyed that their love had at last come full circle and healed [(collage by Ekaterina, below, as shared by VioletDB, Thanks!)].
2014--aCollageofAct4-TheCrucible-RichardArmitage_Apr0915Ekaterina-viaVioletDB-sml

Below is a video (by Wolke Strahl) interview with Richard Armitage and what he thought about his character of John Proctor:

 

yAnnaMadeley-atTheCrucible-onscreen-Premiere-byDavidJensen_Dec0214ranet-crop2Elizabeth Proctor (see previous image above with Richard Armitage as Proctor) was stoically portrayed by Anna Madeley (left) as a cold indifferent wife, barren of love in her heart for her husband John Proctor–both before his adultery due to her own insecurities, and after his adultery. However, Elizabeth let the wrong done to her by him strangle her heart–and his–until she could only realize love for him when it was too late, when he was about to die, for Abigail’s lie. See my comments about Elizabeth’s unforgiving ways in my story plot review section above.

Samantha-Colley_306x423-byDanielSatka-Apr1114pix_Apr1115DailyMail-smlAbigail Williams was a girl who turned her love/lust [(Johan PeTheCrucible--Proctor-isArmitage-andAbigail-isColley-byJohanPersson-BBCNews-03Jul14_Apr1115ranet-smlrrsson image right)] for John Proctor into a quest for power and recognition–until she no longer wanted love, she only lusted for power. Making her theatrical debut, Samantha Colley (image, left) mesmerized with her chillingly fierce determination to see others brought low–and ultimately killed by her accusations. She was ably surrounded by her coterie of village girls–most notably the easily persuaded  Mary Warren portrayed by Natalie Gavin.


AdrianSchiller_Apr1115movieberrycom-sizedReverend Hale
, church adjudicator turned penitent–hauntingly portrayed by Adrian Schiller (left, movieberry.com)–comes to Salem purporting to be a voice of reason, then falls prey to the madness as he makes prisoners out of people, that ultimately leads to their deaths. Hale’s eventual reversal and remorse when reason finally enters his mind is too late. And te deaths he caused will haunt him forever.

All of the ensemble cast gave outstanding performances. So, kudos to the rest of them.

 

Grati’s Final Thoughts about The Old Vic’s production of The Crucible, as filmed by Digital Theatre
And being an avid theatre goer, I enjoyed viewing this filmed version of The Crucible. I wish had could have also seen it in person, but the trip was too costly. So a huge thank you to everyone involved in getting this production filmed! From the very beginning to the very end, The Old Vic’s production of The Crucible was beautifully and masterfully performed and executed! So much so, that I wanted John Proctor to be judged innocent and live happily ever after with his wife Elizabeth. But as with true tragedies, they could no more escape their fate than could John have resisted his urges for Abigail. All was inevitable. Arthur Miller’s play was a true masterpiece. And Yael Farber’s direction of this stellar cast and production of The Crucible cannot be under praised. The look and feel and sound–the evocative music was fantastic!–and mood of the production were riveting! And as many posters proclaimed that this production–whether experienced in person or via film–was:

Unmissable--OldVicFBBannerAug0714oldvicfb-sized

But hey, don’t take my word for it, here is a trailer for the production:

 

The Acclaim:
Standing ovations (below left, Angela S. tweet, thanks!), the five star reviews (below right), audience and fan praise alike have garnered much laudable attention for Richard Armitage and the cast and creatives of The Crucible. Well done everyone!

                    TheCrucible--RichardArmitageandCastinStandingOJun2714AngelaSassoTweet                  TheCrucible_Poster-with-5star-reviews_686x1020_Apr1115ranet-sml

 

And on Sunday, April 12, 2015, The Olivier Awards will present their honors for excellence in theatrical performance in London. And like many of us, I will be rooting for Richard Armitage to win for Best Actor and for The Crucible to win for Best Revival, etc.  Cheers! And, fingers crossed! Though sadly, Mr. Armitage has stated that his current filming commitments in Canada will prevent him from attending the ceremony in London. Whatever happens, Richard Armitage and The Crucible are winners already in my eyes!

And finally, below is a lovely wallpaper by the talented artist and fan Ann Boudreau to help us all celebrate Mr. Armitage’s nomination:

2015--Olivier-Best-Actor-Nom-RichardArmitage_Mar1015AnnBoudreau

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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, Fiction, Forgiveness, Graphic, Interview, John Proctor, Love and Relationships, Olivier Awards, Period Drama, Review, Richard Armitage, Social Justice, Something About Love, The Crucible, The Old Vic Theatre, Theatre, Video, Yael Farber and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Experiencing The Crucible Starring Richard Armitage via DT; & 2015 Olivier Awards, April 12, 2015 Gratiana Lovelace (Post #730)

  1. April 12-13, 2015–Thanks for liking this post!

    Hariclea & Herba

    Like

  2. April 12, 2015–By the way, after Richard Armitage tweeted that his current filming commitment kept him from flying to England for the Olivier Awards Ceremony, he graciously wished his colleagues luck:

    Like

  3. April 12, 2015–London’s Royal Opera House–which will be the venue for today’s 2015 Olivier Awards Ceremony–retweeted their post about the nominees and ceremony highlights being broadcast later on ITV:

    http://www.roh.org.uk/news/nominations-for-olivier-awards-2015-announced

    and following the full nominees link provided to:

    http://www.officiallondontheatre.co.uk/news/latest-news/article/item274830/young-vic-lead-olivier-awards-race/

    Shows us a few that we’re interested in regarding The Crucible, as quoted below:

    “Best Revival
    A View From The Bridge at Young Vic & Wyndham’s Theatre
    A Streetcar Named Desire at Young Vic
    The Crucible at Old Vic
    My Night With Reg at Donmar Warehouse & Apollo Theatre
    Skylight at Wyndham’s Theatre

    Best Actor
    Richard Armitage for The Crucible at Old Vic
    James McAvoy for The Ruling Class at Trafalgar Studio 1
    Tim Pigott-Smith for King Charles III at Almeida Theatre & Wyndham’s Theatre
    Mark Strong for A View From The Bridge at the Young Vic & Wyndham’s Theatre”

    Best wishes to Richard Armitage and The Crucible again!

    Like

  4. April 12, 2015–The Stage tweet with a pix of the Olivier Awards themselves, and a link to their predictions:

    The predictions as quoted below:

    “Best Actor–Nominated:
    Richard Armitage for The Crucible,
    James McAvoy for The Ruling Class,
    Tim Pigott-Smith for King Charles III,
    Mark Strong for A View from the Bridge

    Should win: Tim Pigott-Smith
    Will win: Anyone’s guess

    This category is simply too close to call. Every single candidate would be a worthy winner. Pigott-Smith (pictured) takes it for me simply for showing this most sturdy and reliable of all actors in a brand-new light: more than an impersonation, a 3D portrayal of the future king.”|

    Since Richard Armitage had previously worked with two of the other three nominees, my/Grati’s take on his response–were he not to win–Mr. Armitage would be sincerely gracious and congratulatory. And for Richard Armitage even to be nominated and included in so august a group of esteemed acting colleagues, speaks volumes about Mr. Armitage’s stature as a theatrical artist!

    Like

  5. April 12, 2015–Servetus shares her thoughts about Jack Ellis’ comments regarding him portraying Act 4 antagonist Danforth:

    https://meandrichard.wordpress.com/2015/04/12/jack-ellis-on-playing-danforth-in-the-crucible/

    And for Serv’s other insightful essays about her The Crucible experiences, be sure to search her blog via the keyword tags The Crucible, John Proctor, etc.

    Like

  6. April 12, 2015–Richard Armitage’s The Crucible cast mate Adrian Schiller (who portrayed Rev. Hale) retweeted a Canadian fans congrats to RA:

    My sentiments, exactly! With the much lauded praise of audiences, fans, and critics, Richard Armitage has already won in our hearts!

    Like

  7. April 12, 2015–Up til now, many fan scene excerpts have focused upon John Proctor’s righteous indignation, his love for his wife, or his disbelief at his world crashing down around him. But his downfall was pushed over the edge by his lustful act of committing adultery with his wife’s serving girl, Abigail.

    So fittingly, sahraobsessed tweeted that scene screencap and quote:

    Powerful! Proctor likening himself to a “beast” in his rutting in the stable hay with Abigail reveals his self loathing.

    Like

  8. April 12, 2015–Good luck directly from Richard Armitage’s cast mate Adrian Schiller:

    Like

  9. April 12, 2015–So might there be a chance to watch some of the Olivier Awards?

    http://www.olivierawards.com/awards/ (as quoted below)
    “This year the awards has partnered with ITV’s This Morning to present the only award voted for by the general public, the This Morning Audience Award. The four shortlisted shows hoping to follow in the footsteps of last year’s winner Les Misérables are Billy Elliot The Musical, Jersey Boys, Matilda The Musical and Wicked.

    This year’s radio partner is the hugely popular Magic FM and, building on last year’s collaboration, ITV continues as the awards’ television partner enabling theatre fans to tune into the very best moments from the ceremony shortly after proceedings come to a close with a highlights programme on the channel at 22:15, or catch up on ITV Player.

    To follow all the action on the night, make sure to follow the Olivier Awards and Official London Theatre on Twitter and check the Official London Theatre website, the awards’ official news channel, for coverage throughout the evening.

    You can also watch a live stream of events from the ceremony at the Covent Garden Piazza event”

    Here is that live stream link:
    http://www.olivierawards.com/awards/piazza/

    Like

  10. April 12, 2015–The Olivier Awards are starting:

    Like

  11. April 12, 2015–And life goes on.

    Richard Armitage will “eventually” complete filming his current project in Toronto, then move on to Ireland and Belgium to film “Pilgrimage”. What challenges and hardships will he face with the “Pilgrimage” film shoot? Will he be able to avoid water this time? Somehow, I think not. Ha!

    Might Mr. Armitage be able to squeeze in a trip to Cannes? That is, if they deign to show “Urban and the Shed Crew”, since it isn’t listed yet in their featured films. Then there are his upcoming roles in “Sleepwalker” and a cameo in the “Alice in Wonderland” film.

    And then there are still the Summer months that could see Richard Armitage accept a project–after promotion for that “Toronto role” is done.

    I see great things in store for Richard Armitage’s future. The possibilities are endless and I look forward to enjoying his future artistic projects.

    Hugs & Cheers! Grati ;->

    Like

  12. April 13, 2015–And as I linked to Perry’s list of upcoming awards shows in a previous post, don’t forget that there are many more opportunities for Richard Armitage to be recognized by his peers and the industry:

    https://armitageagonistes.wordpress.com/2015/03/11/the-richard-armitage-fan-diary/comment-page-1/

    Like

  13. Pingback: Richard Armitage as John Proctor in “The Crucible” 2014 play-to-film by Digital Theatre to be released in U.S. March 01, 2017!,  January 27, 2017  Gratiana Lovelace (Post #1034) | Something About Love (A)

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