[spoilers!] Friend who prefers to remain anonymous chats with me about The Crucible

This is an edited transcript of a chat I’ve been having this evening with a friend who went to the first night of previews. Friend who refers to remain anonymous is a colleague in London, not a fan of Richard Armitage, who decided to go see the play tonight with a friend of hers who is also not a fan of Richard Armitage. She is a regular theater-goer and goes to six or seven plays a season.

Please keep that in mind when you read her evaluation of the performance. Also keep in mind that because I wanted to have an honest conversation, I decided for frankness, and that level of frankness permeates this conversation. Your mileage may vary — but this is a very honest assessment from her perspective and the remarks and questions from mine are as well.

***

me:  hi

[she]:  hello

me:  So [your companion] did not want to go

[she]: hahaha – yeah – I asked if he wanted to go to a play and bought tickets when he said yes and turns out he thought I was talking about watching the world cup?? — silly boy — but he was quite surprised

me:  hah

[she]: and enjoyed it, as I thought he might…but I needed someone who knew even LESS about it than I did — as I said – he was my litmus test — so — now to your questions –ask away

me:  fans want to know — shaven chest or chest hair? Also, did they do the scene in the woods?

[she]:  I think natural  hair… so chest

me:  ok, let me just say that on blog quick and then I am all yours.

[she]:  yeah – john proctor ain’t no guy of gisborne… he’s a farmer … chest hair

me:  ok, I am back. So. First. Abigail Williams — played as wily or psycho? (the girl Proctor had the affair with)

[she]:  wily, commanding, undaunted by authority around her, basically, she’s got nothing to lose, the young girl, fantastic body control, the physicality of her role, and her stage command of it through use of her body, quite impressive, you have to understand – she hardly has any lines, yet completely holds the stage

me:  yeah, only in two scenes

[she]:  not a moment wasted. she gets high marks from me

me:  OK. Elizabeth Proctor — how played?

[she]:  stoic, Christian, trying to do that right thing, but also angry, well – both Proctors are, but stoic, both of them

me:  so my dilemma about her is always, how angry is she still about the adultery? does she want him to live or is she glad / relieved to see him die?

[she]:  no… at the end they both really, really, really love and see the beautiful spirit of the other

me:  hmm. okay. Well, I’m sure the audience loved that.

[she]:  she wants him to let his conscience decide

me:  how well do they use the space in the round?

[she]:  fantastic

me:  is that exciting, or distracting? you liked the staging a lot

[she]: exciting. I’m most interested in how they were going to pull it off with all those people. [companion] and I were next to the smoke / fog machine so we coughed a few times but well worth it

[she]:  the transition scenes…. man – what a surprise. normally transitions are just stage actors moving around setting up furniture. the director clearly saw this as an opportunity. this is where the movement comes in because as they set up these transition scenes – the actors all moved in a sort of slow motion 3/4 time with the fog

me:  interesting

[she]:  it WAS, trust me. I mentioned earlier … dreamlike…a reverie, kind of astonishing, you’ll definitely hear it written about in the press reviews

[me]: spooky?

[she]: slightly… but that wasn’t the effect… it was just one of an ephemeral beauty, and all they were doing was cleaning up the stage

me:  that is a huge contrast

[she]:  mind you – that definitely costs the production in terms of time. it was long

me:  someone said 3.5 hours

[she]:  yup. almost 4. I’m not sure if they will start pruning it

me:  that doesn’t bother me but I can see that the average theater goer would get fatigued

[she]:  but at least I can say I got the whole original vision. we got out at 11:20 pm

 

 

~ by Servetus on June 22, 2014.

15 Responses to “[spoilers!] Friend who prefers to remain anonymous chats with me about The Crucible”

  1. Reblogged this on Armitage Agonistes and commented:
    This explains the running time – almost 4 hours accoding to friend who wishes to remain anonymous. She must be tired, but I hope there’s more coming from her.

    Like

  2. Lovely, honest and enlightening conversation…….thank you so much for doing and sharing that! It gives one a good overview without RA bias.

    Like

  3. Wow that sounds exciting. I am glad Icould not resist these “spoilers”. It’s the kind of information that will have me sweat with anticipation.
    I suspect they wil tidy up a lot of the play in the next couple of weeks, but it sounds as if the staging in the round is one of the successes!
    Thanks for the brilliant insight! Hope your friend reads here and understands we all appreciate her report!

    Like

  4. Thank you to you and your friend for sharing this conversation and insights. I’m thrilled about the chest hair 😉 but also am enjoying hearing about the play as a whole, since I am totally unfamiliar with it, never having read or studied it. Sounds like all those lucky enough to see it are in for an amazing experience.

    Also many thanks for the running updates Serv. My inbox has been pinging with notifications faster than I could keep up! 🙂

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  5. I’m so happy, that you have this Draht into the show, although AND because of she is NOT a fan! To hear from it without that hype. Das schaffe ich auch alleine 🙂 Hope they will not cut too much from the scenes. I think it’s a long play, but I’m really sure it’s worth it.

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    • I wonder if they maybe can do the scene changes differently?

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      • Du meinst ändern im Sinne von uminterpretieren? Wohl eher nicht. Das wäre dann schon recht viel künstlerische Freiheit der Regisseurin. Ich dachte eher an / befürchte gewöhnliche Kürzungen im Text (das Stück zu lang, die Leute schaffen das nicht bla bla, nonsense!) Wobei ich schon erstaunt war über die schiere Länge der Spieldauer.

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  6. Thanks for sharing this. I agree with her assessment of their relationship. I think they finally understand each other – and it’s too late…

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    • it’s a question of how it’s played; that was what I was trying to get at. There are different options and I wanted to know which they chose!

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  7. […] […]

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  8. […] saw excerpts from my chats with Anonymous Correspondent about the first night of previews (one, and two, and three); I mentioned at the time that she does not consider herself a fan of Armitage, […]

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