The Grey Wolf Devours The King: Arthur Miller’s “The Crucible” (2016)

Linnet Moss has seen the current version of The Crucible on Broadway, with Ben Whishaw as John Proctor, and her crush, Ciarán Hinds as Judge Danforth. Have fun comparing this take on the play with what weknow of Yael Farbers.

Linnet Moss

Belgian director Ivo Van Hove is known for avant garde theatre, but although this production (which we saw toward the end of previews) aims to upset our received notions of the play, I would not call it experimental. Still, readers of the play know that Arthur Miller attempted a greater degree of control than most playwrights have, by including extensive stage directions, backstories and appearance of the characters, set descriptions, and even commentary on the play’s meaning. This “metaplay” material is extremely valuable in understanding Miller’s vision, yet a truly great play must work independently; it must lend itself to re-interpretation, just as Shakespeare and Sophocles do. The Crucible passes this test.

112781 Abigail (Saoirse Ronan) with Betty Parris (Elizabeth Teeter) and Mary Warren (Tavi Gevinson). Photo by Jan Versweyveld.

Director Van Hove and set designer Jan Versweyveld have set aside much of the metaplay, while adding subtle layers of seventeenth-century Calvinist…

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