The New York Times -Armitage Gives palpable, sinewy force to [Proctor]

Ben Brantley, of the The New York Times, says of Richard Armitage’s John Proctor:

John is usually played — as he was by Daniel Day-Lewis in the 1996 film — as a sort of cerebral variation on the conflicted sheriff in “High Noon,”Gary Cooper as drawn by Miller while looking in the mirror. Mr. Armitage, known for playing Thorin Oakenshield in the “Hobbit” movies, gives us a John who is first and foremost a physical being, a farmer who has spent most of his life fighting against privation.

His rumbling voice comes from his viscera, and he stands like a man who feels undressed without his plow. His first instinct, like that of his fellow townspeople, is to survive, and in “The Crucible,” surviving and doing what’s right are not synonymous. Mr. Armitage gives palpable, sinewy force to John’s struggle, making the moral instinct feel primal, something that’s genetically coded but hard to bring into dominance.

9 thoughts on “The New York Times -Armitage Gives palpable, sinewy force to [Proctor]

  1. Ooooh!! It IS!! Also, “sinewy. Visceral”. I also am thinking “shirtless” right now. lol What can I say? I’m a basic sort of woman.


  2. Fantastic review, not only for the praise to Richard. Very well written and a real homage to Ms. Farber genius. Brantley is not the first saying that this staging is the best The Crucible ever had but reading it on NY Times is a real pleasure and I’m very glad for all involved in the production.


  3. How influential is Brantley? Could he sway opinions where needed to transfer the play to NY? I would have thought Ms. Miller and DD Lewis would, under the right kind of public/artistic pressure, agree to NY because they would look slightly silly for blocking it when it has received such critical acclaim. Of course other considerations come into play, but pump up the volume and get this play to the other side of the pond!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ben Brantley is probably the most influential theater critic in the U.S., but his influence would not have any impact on the decision to move the play to Broadway. By now, the producer and director know they have a hit. No one knows whether anyone is agreeing or disagreeing to transfer the play. “Other considerations” usually mean money.


  5. Can the entire cast usually come over on Broadway? I don’t want Samantha Colley to get recast for an American-name actress. I really want to see her take on Abigail Williams along with Richard’s interpretation of John Proctor. Plus New York is a lot easier than London for me.


    • They can do whatever they want. It’s all up to the producers, the schedules of the cast, the decisions of the directors. Sometimes the cast comes, sometimes it’s just the same production. One issue is which theater they would use in NY for a theater in the round. There are a few, such as Circle in the Square, but they would need refitting for this sort of production where people are on stage.


  6. That is a real concern because the play would lose intensity if the audience only sat on one side. I don’t know why but I remain optimistic it will make it there somehow. Maybe because of previous transporting of Farber stagings…but as you rightly say it all comes down to money.


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