Richard Armitage: The Crucible at the Old Vic, now showing
Acclaimed director Yaёl Farber comes to the Old Vic to direct a new London production of Arthur Miller's classic fable of political paranoia
In the first new production of The Crucible for four years, director Yaёl Farber - best known for Nirbhaya, the explosive verbatim drama about a young woman’s rape in Delhi, promises to bring a fresh perspective to Miller’s classic allegory about the McCarthy trials of the 1950s. The Crucible is the perfect fit for the CQS space , the Old Vic’s own theatrical melting-pot, first seen in the 2008 Norman Conquests season.
Miller’s portrayal of the Salem witch trials of the 1690s, when around 20 of the village’s citizens were executed on cooked-up accusations of witchcraft , reflects the McCarthyist pursuit of suspected communistsin the 1950s. The Tony Award-winning play is less a historical drama than a cautionary tale about political and religious extremism, and the power of fear and terror in everyday culture when due process and the law fail.
Yaёl Farber made her reputation writing and directing the explosive Mies Julie , which transposed Strindberg’s Miss Julie to a dark post-apartheid South Africa. The play was transferred to London from its award-winning run at the 2012 Edinburgh Festival. The part of passionate but downtrodden John Proctor is played by Richard Armitage , star ofRobin Hood and The Hobbit, who will be taking to the stage for the first time in 13 years. Armitage may not have the pop-culture ubiquity in the UK that he had when he was Guy of Gisbourne in Robin Hood, but this new production could certainly bring him back into the London limelight.