A key requirement for any revival of The Crucible is that it “doesn’t really feel an excessive amount of like a lecture in disguise”, stated Dominic Cavendish in The Every day Telegraph. Famously, Arthur Miller wrote his 1953 play – concerning the “juvenile-led spasm of denunciation and execution” that seized Salem, Massachusetts in 1692-3 – as a “chilling quasiallegory” for McCarthyite anticommunism.
Lyndsey Turner’s “gripping” manufacturing “magnificently” passes that take a look at – offering drama with out didacticism. And even when the director doesn’t fairly “reinvent” the piece, she completely “refreshes it, honouring the specificity however banishing litter”, and creating an “awe-inspiring monumentalism”. That is “the Nationwide at its finest”.
It’s a “masterly” manufacturing, agreed Theo Bosanquet on What’s on Stage – brilliantly paced, and so “visually luxurious” it’s “like watching a stay oil portray”. The performances, too, are top-notch. Brendan Cowell places an earthy spin on the position of John Proctor, taking part in him as a “farmer together with his ft firmly within the soil. You imagine he might plough for hours on a Sunday”.
As Abigail, Proctor’s vengeful teenage lover, Erin Doherty (the younger Princess Anne in The Crown) is “skittish, frenzied and deeply malevolent” – and when she and the opposite women “carry out their wild hallucinations, it feels genuinely scary”.
Turner’s manufacturing is “filled with good concepts and atmospheric thrives”, stated Andrzej Lukowski on Time Out. Designer Es Devlin has created a spectacular “crashing wall of synthetic rain that shrouds” the huge Olivier stage earlier than each scene: mixed with Tim Lutkin’s “exquisitely moody lighting, and the a cappella singing from the pink-clad refrain of women”, this elemental cascade is spine-tingling. But for all the nice concepts and fleet staging, it doesn’t quantity to an “solely coherent reinvention”.
This revival is definitely “handsomely raised”, however it’s also quite on the “secure” facet, stated Arifa Akbar in The Guardian. What lingers in our minds afterwards isn’t a lot the meat of Miller’s nice drama, however the manufacturing’s “polished aesthetics”.
Olivier, Nationwide Theatre, London SE1. Till 5 November