🎭 The Crucible
📍 Gielgud Theatre, 35-37 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, W1D 6AR
🗓 Friday 28th July 2023
A BREATHTAKING THEATRICAL EXPERIENCE
The Crucible, currently playing at the Gielgud Theatre in London's West End is incredible! From the moment you enter the theatre and are greeting by a creative and spectacular rain curtain, the tone of the evening is set and expectations are high.
In this retelling of the classic story we witness the hysteria which led to the famous Salem Witch Trials in 17th century America. We see how a community's fears of witchcraft grow from a lack of understanding of girted and powerful women and how even the slightest thing can get one accused of the crime.
Is it best to plead guilty of a crime you did not commit or to hang for it? Either way, you will be labelled as being in collusion with the devil. This play is shocking at times and it's crazy that there are parallels with American politics today as we see the hysteria and scapegoating of the drag and queer communities in the country in 2023.
I didn't have an in depth knowledge of the piece going in, but I did have a basic understanding of the story and it's safe to say I was transfixed from the start. The concoction of Arthur Miller's elegant writing, direction by Lyndsey Turner and Es Devlin's set design marry together wonderfully alongside costume design by Catherine Fay and Tim Lutkin's lighting design. With sound design by Tingying Dong and Christopher Shutt, what's on display here is a masterclass on how to put a production together.
The score from Caroline Shaw helps to create an epic feel to the piece, but the standout star of the production is the stupendous cast.
Brian Gleeson and Caitlin FitzGerald as married couple John and Elizabeth Proctor broke my heart as their story played out to a devastating finale. Gleeson unapologetically delivered raw emotion that allowed the audience into the soul of the character and was breathtaking.
Milly Alcock as the scheming Abigail Williams was commanding in her role and made you want to watch her whenever she was on stage. Nick Fletcher was wonderfully unlikeable as Reverend Samual Parris who was more intent on self preservation than looking out for his congregation.
Fisayo Akinade was likeable from the start as Reverend John Hale, who turns out to be the voice of reason in the piece. Colin Haigh was the much needed comic relief as Francis Nurse and Matthew Marsh as Deputy Governor Danforth was a force to be reckoned with!
I could honestly write a piece about each and every cast member as I was completely blown away by all of them. The way they completely embodied their characters drew me in and I was transfixed.
What I loved about Turner's direction was how the characters entered and exited the stage. Instead of using the traditional wings, they would just appear from the darkness at the rear of the stage which I loved.
The Crucible continues at the Gielgud Theatre until 2nd September 2023. Sell your soul to the devil for a ticket, it's definitely worth it!
All views are my own and I pride myself on being open and honest.
CAST LIST (in order of appearance):
Nadine Higgin as Tituba; Nick Fletcher as Reverend Samuel Parris; Amy Snudden as Betty Harris; Milly Alcock as Abigail Williams; Grace Farrell as Susanna Walcott; Zoë Aldrich as Ann Putnam / Sarah Good; Alastair Parker as Thomas Putnam; Ebony Jonelle as Mercy Lewis; Nia Towle as Mary Warren; Brian Gleeson as John Proctor; Tilly Tremayne as Rebecca Nurse; Karl Johnson as Giles Corey; Fisayo Akinade as Reverend John Hale; Caitlin FitzGerald as Elizabeth Proctor; Colin Haigh as Francis Nurse; Raphael Bushay as Ezekiel Cheever; Tama Phethean as Marshal Herrick; David Ahmad as Matthew Hopkins; Stephanie Beattie as Martha Corey; Henry Everett as Judge Hathorne; Matthew Marsh as Deputy Governor Danforth
Ensemble: Christopher Birch; Lucy Brindle; Chyna-Rose Frederick; Miya James; Gracie McConigal; Samuel Townsend
RUNNING TIME (approx):
2 hours 50 minutes, including interval