THE CRUCIBLE WITH RICHARD ARMITAGE AND HOW IT TOUCHED ME

THE CRUCIBLE AND HOW IT TOUCHED ME

Disclaimer: If you are here in the hope of reading a succinct, professionally, well written, well documented and informed review of The Crucible as currently performed at the Old Vic Theatre in London, you have come to the wrong place. This is the humble account given by a mere mortal of an experience which will stay with me forever for reasons that may not touch another person to the same degree or in the same manner.

On Saturday 26th of July I had the privilege of being able to see The Crucible at the Old Vic Theatre in London. My husband does not share my love for the English word or any of its manifestations and so I don’t go to the theatre as much as I would like. I am a 44 year old Spanish woman but have been living in England for 23 years. I studied English Philology at a Spanish University, a five year degree which covers subjects such as English history, literature, philosophy, linguistics amongst others, my favourite being: Literary Criticism. When I was at University, in my mind and in my heart I was heading to one day become a Literary Critic. That was my passion and I was very good at it. I always got the highest scores when I wrote my own review on a particular piece or book. I loved the power of words and how they convey different feelings and emotions to different people; how they can touch you in corners of your soul where nothing else can; how they can make the world go round and at times stop on its tracks. Life, however, often surprises us and veers us in a direction which we never suspected we might take or planned to take. I say life veers us, but in my own experience I now know it was not life but God closing some doors and opening new ones, protecting me from choices which may have made me happy for a time but in the long run would have driven me further away from knowing Him and from having a purposeful and meaningful life.

Going to the theatre and enjoying the entertainment industry in general can be an expensive affair, specially if you wish to get a decent seat where you can feel comfortable and actually be part of what is going on on stage, and so in order for me to make a visit to the theatre a regular ocurrence, I would have needed to sacrifice other parts of the family budget which seems like an indulgence to me in these days we live in. I tell you this so that you understand that this was for me a very special evening by the very nature of its rarity, and needless to say, by the prospect of seeing Richard Armitage act on a stage and of potentially meeting him afterwards.

Being the rare event that this was going to be and knowing it may not happen again for many months, perhaps years, I decided to make the most of the experience by actually getting up to speed with other people’s reviews, their take on the play, feedback and general impressions, which I find is a good way of getting the general gist of what to expect. Clearly, the best way will always be going to the source itself and so I also purchased “The Crucible” by Arthur Miller on my Kindle and read it over the course of a week prior to my visit to the Old Vic. American Literature was another of my favourite subjects at University, although this had more to do with gazing across the room at a very attractive teacher and not so much with the subject itself, but anyway, although we covered quite a lot, The Crucible by Arthur Miller was not amongst it.

Let me tell you first and foremost that I am a Christian or at least I try to be, I would like to be. It is a very tall order following in the footsteps of Jesus Christ and unfortunately, I don’t even come remotely close to even his sandals, but He is my focus, my North, my rock and the compass I use in my daily life to guide me in everything I do, say and think. More often than I care to admit, I keep Him out of the equation, but when I look for Him afterwards, He is always there to pick up the pieces of my wrongdoing, my insecurities, my prideful and selfish actions; to pick me up so that I can try and make a better go of things the next time.

The reason I tell you all this is so that you understand that choosing to go and see a play that dwells in the “taboo” subjects of witchcraft, the power of the devil and the controlling power, firm grasp and devastating results that legalistic religion at the hands of proud, control-driven and weak individuals can have on a person or a collective, amongst many other subjects, was not an easy decision to make or one I was going to take light-heartedly. I knew I was going to experience very strong emotions in an enclosed, relatively small space, full of people, at a stone’s throwaway from the actors themselves and with nowhere to run mid-flow, should my heart begin to beat so fast that no one can hear or sense anything else but the fear and anxiety running through my veins. For an spectator who is an atheist, an agnostic or a Christian in word but not in deed, a lot of what goes on during this play would go straight over their heads, but for me personally, I knew beforehand certain things I might witness during the play would make me feel terrified, nervous and very, very uncomfortable. Indeed, seeing the plot unfold was no different at various points of the play than standing in front of a mirror at home and coming face to face once again with the unwelcome but familiar ghosts named disappointment, betrayal, fear, lust, temptation, pride, unforgiveness and a number of demons which I battle with in my own personal day to day existence.

For me and for all Christians, there are two very distinct dimensions which co-exist: the natural (what we see, hear, feel, touch, smell) and the spiritual (those things which we cannot see, but often sense may be taking place, the forces of good fighting the forces of evil in the world or simply put: God versus the devil). This is as real to me as life itself. I have met self-declared Christ followers and I have met self-declared ex devil worshippers and I tell you that at their worst either of them can become extreme and cause as much hurt, devastation and pain as each other. What I mean is that pride, fear and ignorance can be a terrible thing and whether you act driven by any of those three elements, be it in the name of God or of the Devil, the results can be equally devastating.

This is something which comes across very clearly in the play as enacted by the current cast at the Old Vic. A village torn apart by suspicion, lust, pride, deceit and the willingness to sell our soul to the highest bidder when we find ourselves between a rock and a hard place. This awful darkness and sense of despair in a cruel and harsh environment such as it was at that time in Salem, Massachusetts, is beautifully contrasted by the light and tenderness, the redemptive thread that runs through and is brought about in the play so poignantly by the characters of John Proctor (Richard Armitage) and his wife, Elizabeth Proctor (Anna Madeley).

Both of them, but specially Richard Armitage, convey so vividly and humanely that moment in a person’s life most of us hope never comes when our integrity, our whole being, those whom we love, and care for, the God we worship, if any, and our very soul are at stake, that moment where the choice we make will bring either life or death, both in the natural and spiritual realm. Thousands of people around the world are being persecuted, tortured and murdered for their faith right now, and for them a moment like this which is so sensitively, intuitively, innately acted by Armitage and Madeley, is all too real. Indeed, for so many there is no choice to be made, because that choice has been taken away by those who play God to sustain and feed their greed, pride, fanatism, power, you name it.

This is a very timely play and a timeless one at that for the threads that underpin it are forces which the world has had to contend with for thousands of years, indeed the whole of humanity rests and has been built and developed upon the pillars of faith, good, evil, greed, world domination, control, lust, pride, integrity, freedom, love and so many other forces which are at war with each other and in a permanent battle to establish which one shall ultimately prevail.

As a Christian woman witnessing this play unfold, the final moments during the trial when Proctor has to make that choice as to whether to sell his soul in order to keep his life or to remain true to who He is, to those whom He loves and love Him and to God himself, is for me an all too believable, foreboding, almost prophetic moment in a society which is rapidly becoming secular and where the Christian Faith who was the Lion in the Human Kingdom is fast becoming the elephant in the room. There is a sense of acceleration around us made all too aware by how fast technology is developing, scientific and medical advances are progressing, and the sense of urgency and immediate gratification we all let our lives be ruled by. It won’t be long before as Christians in the United Kingdom we may have to be in John Proctor’s shoes and be wrongly accused of something we have not done, admit to something we are not by a society which is blinded by the power of evil, self-worship and a clear lack of a moral compass and integrity; we may have to make the impossible choice of saving our life by betraying our soul or confessing the truth and saving our integrity but signing our own death sentence in the process. For me, Richard Armitage, transmitted all these emotions in a spectacular fashion. He captivated the audience and not just by his manly, handsome presence but so much more so by the palpable dynamism in his performance of the co-existing traits in Proctor’s personality where love and hate, self-assurance and fear, aggression and sheer tenderness can co-exist in equal measure. This illustrates beautifully the peril the world is in today and has always been: good and evil in us constantly surfacing within us and battling each other, integrity versus conformism and resignation, honesty versus deception and betrayal, freedom versus bondage to others, our own passions or the devil himself.

Anna Madeley particularly captivated my heart on the night too. Not familiar at all with her previous work, I was deeply touched by her rendition of Elizabeth Proctor, a woman tormented by the suspicion of her husband’s betrayal and adultery and bound by the inability to completely forgive and cut the chains that hold him forever captive to guilt and a sense of failure, the chains that keep him walking on egg shells around her, extinguishing the flame of love one subtle but lethal blow at a time; a woman whose sheer loyalty, love and dedication has slapped her right back on the face and turned her heart into a heart of stone towards her husband, desperate to show him the love she still truly feels for him despite his betrayal, but selfishly holding on to the chains of guilt and conviction that bind him, in an attempt to protect herself from further hurt, destroying in the process the chance to rebuild complete trust between them and for unconditional love to resurface once again. Having personally experienced in my own life the betrayal and the lust for another within a relationship, I am all too familiar with how unforgiveness but also guilt can have a relentless grip on us to the point where we cannot function, where our freedom to be who we want to become is completely taken away and our every move, thought and word is nothing but the echo of the fear and the turmoil we are experiencing within. Again, from a Christian point of view, these are all incredibly relevant subjects which are dwelled into sensitively but very accurately in this rendition of The Crucible. I was truly moved by Anna Madeley’s performance. It was gentle, understated but at the same time confident and firm. Both Richard and Anna were in a league of their own and a Class Act!

Worth mentioning also is the role played by Jack Ellis who plays Deputy Governor Danforth. Great, powerful, utterly convincing performance as was that by Samantha Colley who plays Abigail Williams. Looking into Armitage’s eyes during his performance was almost an unbearable feat for me. His gaze and facial expressions so intense, his demeanour so full of underlying connotations of the raging battle going on under the surface of John Proctor’s imposing countenance but frail heart. But looking into Abigail Williams’ eyes was altogether a much more challenging experience for all the wrong reasons. She really put the fear of God into me by exemplifying so well how one can behave, the lengths a person can go to, how they can lose themselves when the devil and its minions get hold of your soul. Utterly bewitching performance and terrifying at the same time. Solid performance, unforgettable!

I could go on forever as it seems unfair to not mention the other actors and characters too for they were all so good as individuals and as an ensemble. I will just have to say that if any of what is written here has intrigued you in the least to go and see this play, then please follow that nudge and be truly entertained. I can assure you your mind will be stirred up and your soul in turmoil when you come out of that theatre, not to mention your heart will flatter and skip one or two beats if you have the sheer privilege of meeting Richard afterwards. He has one of those “beautiful” faces in the purest sense of the word, and eyes that can speak a thousand words and melt rocks with just one look. My kind of Lead man!

Richard and I

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36 thoughts on “THE CRUCIBLE WITH RICHARD ARMITAGE AND HOW IT TOUCHED ME

  1. Thanks a lot for sharing this great message, Mercedes!
    Can’t stop reading the blog post again and again,… very inspirational .

    God bless you! Also may the good Lord bless Richard and Anna.

    Keep sharing please.

    Elisha

    • Hi Elisha,

      Thank you for your encouragement. I was just saying to my daughter in the car on the way back home from the dentist just now that I really enjoyed writing this piece. I have not written much in the last few months and when I have, I did not feel truly inspired, but this particular blog post just flowed out of my fingertips and it was very much heartfelt. I am glad that came across.

      Love,

      Mercedes

  2. I can’t express how much I love your review, thank you for posting this! It is so similar to my own experience and I dare to believe we are not alone. I see many people getting the same feelings and ideas from this play and it makes me happy. You are so right in everything you wrote about it. It makes me happy to know that people like you exist, you are intelligent and have a wonderful soul! I truly admire your discernment and faith. I’ve been through difficult times recently, but going to see The Crucible was like a shot of pure happiness and hope. In spite of it being a bitter tragedy, this story has incredible healing powers. I wish you all the best, dear lady!

  3. Dear Anna,

    Thank you so much for getting in touch and leaving your kind words of encouragement here. You are so kind to say those things when you don’t even know me. I sense in your words that you may have gone through similar things to me and that the play may have touched raw nerves and wounds which have not completely healed in you. This is where the play was so powerful for me. The depiction of these characters, their plight and their most inner emotions was so real, vivid, on point, so sensitively put across that one could not but feel as if looking into a mirror or having a wise, intuitive person see straight through our own insecurities, fears and hurts. Powerful indeed! Films on the big and small screen are for me so over-rated. The theatre experience carries with it a much more lasting, deep impression on one’s heart and soul. I must find the time to go to the theatre more often although I get the impression The Crucible cast, and performances are on a class of its own and nothing will even come close for quite some time.

    • Thank you very much! It’s true that I don’t know you, but you have this blog and you write heartfelt, genuine things about situations and emotions which I understand… Yes, the play had a strong effect on me. It is about the injustice, about how good people become the victims of selfish, scheming, cruel ones and nothing seems to stop the evil in its tracks. I’ve seen many real-life situations like that and still haven’t found any acceptance for these.

      • No, in order to attend that interview I would need to sign as a member at the Old Vic, which means quite a lot of money for me. I’m not aware of any other possibilities yet. Lovely thing that’s going to happen, though.

      • I assumed that you might want to attend as you mentioned having been to see the play twice. The cost of a seat to watch this interview, I believe, is only £5 or £10. Members get priority booking, but hopefully there will still be seats left for everyone else. IT’s my birthday tomorrow so I am treating myself to membership and hopefully a ticket to go and see Richard speak about The Crucible, the role of John Proctor and his career. Should be interesting and a one-off opportunity I don’t want to miss!

  4. Our son is a professional musician in the San Diego area, so we get to visit the theater a few times each year. We enjoy the experiences.

    For me, it’s always interesting to discover another side of people I enjoy. Your review was great. Thanks.

  5. Pingback: Monday morning Richard Armitage, The Crucible reviews and comments | Me + Richard Armitage

  6. Thank you very much for this review from your perspective of trying to live the Christian life. I too am trying and have been wrestling about going to see this play with the lovely Richard Armitage. Only yesterday my son and I decided to make the trip from Canada and this is kind of like a little confirmation. Thank you for baring yourself and please know that your piece resounds deeply with me. Lovely review. Would love to chat with you sometime.

    • Dear June,
      Thank you so much for your kind comment and for getting in touch. Canada, what a beautiful country that is. I am so impressed that you would travel over to the UK to see this play. Now that is what I call a true fan. I am so glad you liked my review and that it resonated with you deeply. God bless you!

  7. Hi, usually when I start reading a post containing ‘religion’ I stop reading, I find it quite a turn off. I am not an atheist, I suppose I am an agnostic. I suppose. I did keep reading your post and was quite captivated. Your post did not turn me off at all, in fact it was thought provoking, extremely well written and I think I will be coming back to your site to read more of your work (if you don’t mind!). Thank you for your post and I will need to re-read it a few times as there is a lot to digest.

    • Hi Heather,
      Of course I would not mind you coming back to my site. I love to write and although I love to write for myself as an outlet with therapeutic effect, nothing gives me more joy than to know that my words may have caused some sort of emotion in another person or that another person may be touched by them because they can also see themselves in what I may write. That is what art and entertainment should be about, right? Just as the actors in The Crucible aim to make the audience reflect upon their own life and experiences when they are performing for them. It is all about stirring the mind and our emotions and hopefully touch our heart in some manner.
      I am so glad that you were not put off by the Christian slant on my review. Ironically, I am the first to admit that Christians have a tendency to be judgemental and too proud and in trying to ram down people’s throats our beliefs, we end up forgetting about all the important things Christ was about such as love, compassion, grace and forgiveness.
      Please do come back to read some more of my stuff if you wish. I hope you like it. I have not felt particularly inspired in these last few months but seeing the Crucible has rekindled my love for the English word and for its power and beauty, and so I am hoping to dedicate more time to my writing in the future, but then again, even in that I rely on divine inspiration and guidance, and it does not always come when I want it, so I have to go with the flow.
      Thank you so much for your honest words and for getting in touch.

  8. WoW! Just the review I have been hoping to read. I live in the US – South Carolina. There is no hope, no chance that I will ever see this production, even should it come to Broadway, I cannot foresee the opportunity for me to go.
    I absolutely love the works of Richard Armitage. So I am very disappointed the I will not see one of Mr. Armitage’s finest works.
    I, too, had never read The Crucible until I learned that my favorite actor would play the lead. It was difficult to read in one sitting because of the anger I felt towards the lies and deceit, the judging and lack of love in what was suppose to be a community governed by God-fearing people.
    I have been a Christ follower for forty-nine years, but I struggled most of those years with being judgmental. No more! I want people to come to Jesus Christ through the love I show them rather than pointing out their sin. I am not condoning the practice of sin, but I don’t think anyone could EVER feel the love of Christ through a pointed finger.
    The little snippets we have been given of this production and the reviews I’ve read make the play seem like it would almost be worth the price of the plane ticket, the accomodations and the theater ticket, but, as I said before, it simply will not happen. So I appreciate your honest review.

    • Dear Kitty,
      I have a feeling that due to the success of the play and fans wanting to know what all the fuss is about, this may be recorded and put on a DVD or something along those lines. It is interesting that Richard, as I heard him say in an interview, lives in New York and yet decided to perform an American playwright in London. Of course I am delighted he did and so, so grateful that him and the other actors have committed to almost three months of gruelling performances often twice a day. I guess Britain has got an outstanding history and tradition for theatre performances based on its literary wealth and variety, and I have to say Americans do the best blockbusters and big productions on the big screen, but there is something special and utterly powerful about the character, technique and sheer class and believability in British acting and international actors trained in the UK and I am not biased because I am a Spaniard who moved to the UK 23 years ago.
      There is a nakedness, honesty and a vulnerability about British actors which touches one deeply, and also so often the quality of acting is such, the audience becomes one with the performance, the story unfolding. It becomes impossible to tell what is acting and what is so real for not only the character but for the actor playing that character. How else, can all these actors find it within them to portray such powerful emotions?
      I agree that as Christians we can be, we often are far too judgemental and proud and we become a turn off rather than a light for those who are immersed in darkness. I used to be that person and I hope I no longer am. If you read some of my older posts you will learn my transition outside of the church system and the freedom which that has brought me. My faith remains, but now my faith is in God alone and not in the men or women who speak in his name and manipulate the masses for their own ambition, greed, or glory. Thank you for your encouragement and kind words. Be blessed!

  9. You are a brilliant writer. Usually when I see a long article I skim most of it–not this one. I read every word. If I had the money I would travel to London from the U.S. to see this play. Your writing makes me wish I could know you. God bless you always.

  10. Hi purplepk,

    Wow, huge encouragement indeed! I know that if you want a big following on your blog, they say rule number one is do not write long posts which will bore your readers to death and put them off from the beginning by the sheer prospect of sitting to read something for longer than 2 minutes. I am not one however to sacrifice what is on my heart and what I feel I want to put out there in word for the sake of a bigger following. I couldn’t care less how many or how few people visit my site so long as those who do come to this site meet and read the real me.
    Isn’t it interesting how even the supposedly advisable and recognised length of a blog post as acceptable is dictated by our inability to enjoy the moment and our inability to learn to invest time in those things which are potentially so good for us? We are all about “Right Now” these days and we miss out on so much because of it: nurturing and life-altering relationships, personal growth, a faith that can move mountains, genuine unconditional “til death do us part” kind of love, pursuing those dreams which we all have but are to scared to persevere on, to name but just a few.

    I am married, have children, am self-employed, run a household, etc, etc but despite all the things that life throws at us each day, I still long to write. God always gives us the desires of our hearts when they line up with his will for our life, so I am trusting that though it is slow-coming for me, it is happening.

    God bless you for your beautiful and uplifting words to me today!

    Mercedes

  11. Mercedes – I loved reading your review, and am so happy to have found you. Thank you for encouraging me and my faith by sharing your own insights and perceptions in the light of your love for Jesus Christ. You are focusing on the things I’m trying to focus on, and I was blessed. I can’t make the trip to see this play, but it was wonderful to hear your confirmation of the spiritual power I sensed inherent in this production especially. It makes me wonder more particularly about Ms. Farber’s spiritual heart, as she, I think, can seen as the lead driver of its impact, even more than Richard Armitage. Thanks again, I’ll be back!

    • Dear SH,

      Thank you so much for your feedback. I really appreciate it. Encouragement is a wonderful force that can turn the world into a much happier and peaceful place and yet none of us seem to make a determined effort to give it out on a daily basis. Bless you for that !
      I do agree that the driving force behind this production of The Crucible is without a doubt its Director Yael Farber. I am not familiar with her work but will be from now on. People who are able to produce that kind of artistic work really inspire me. The actors get all the glory, the fame and the adulation of fans and the audience and you are right, the playwright/producer and directors are often forgotten about. I have forwarded my review and congratulations to Yael Farber on twitter and as a result she now follows me, although I fear she may not do so for long. I feel utterly humbled and honoured by this, as I don’t have a lot to say that is worth her consideration I am sure, but I trust God is in everything that happens to me, so there is a purpose and a reason behind it which I may or may not get to ever find out! Either way I will make it my endeavour to follow her career and see more of her productions.
      Please keep coming back to this site. I hope you won’t be disappointed. I am not always as inspired as I felt in writing this review.
      Take care,
      Mercedes

  12. That’s wonderful that Yael Farber is following you, Mercedes! I’m sure she was encouraged and blessed as well by what you had to say. And when I read someone’s writing that is genuine, thoughtful and from the heart, I don’t think I can be disappointed 🙂

  13. “Accusations of blasphemy are rocketing in Pakistan, from one in 2011 to at least 68 last year, according to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. About 100 people have been accused of blasphemy this year.

    Human rights workers say the accusations are increasingly used to settle personal vendettas or to grab the property of the accused.”

    The above was in the news very recently….this play is as relevant today as when it was first written. Yael Farber and the cast as well as those like you, Mercedes, are so necessary to shine the light. I love what you shared after having seen the play. Take care and I hope to read more of you fine work.

  14. Thank you Heather. As a Christian I am all too aware of the persecutions you speak of: Chinese, Iraqi and many other Christians around the world are being abused, tortured and murdered for their faith today. History continues to repeat itself. Raising awareness is all we have. Our lives have to mean something, otherwise what is the point of living right? As I said in my review, this is why The Crucible and the way it was performed touched me so deeply. I often wonder what I would do if it came to that: having to choose between saving my life or losing my soul and my integrity? I would like to think I would act as John Proctor did. A different question altogether is: would I have the courage? Will my faith prove to be genuine or just a banner I carry to make me feel good about myself? Deep stuff indeed but as we hear in the news everyday, perhaps not as distant a reality as we may want to believe.
    Thanks again for your kind words. I never know when I will write another post. It may be tomorrow, it may be months, but I hope that you stick around to read some more of my stuff whenever it comes. All the best to you Heather!

  15. Hi, thank you for directing me to your review of The Crucible via Twitter. Being that I may never catch it in my lifetime (at the Old Vic in London, and especially with Richard on lead), your review helped me “see” it as if I were there myself. Like I said on my tweet, I saw a lot of you in how you wrote the review. It’s great because it shows the reader where you are coming from. I love that your review made me feel like I was there sitting with you, almost feeling things as you describe them. I’m sure there will be opportunities for me to travel and my biggest dream is to catch Hamlet with Benedict Cumberbatch at the Barbican next year… flying all the way from Manila at that! But with the way things are going for me now, this may just remain a dream. However, reading things like this bring me there and I truly appreciate it. I do think a lot of “professional” reviews often take this sort of negative, I-know-better-than-you-and-I-want-to-show-everyone tone (I can already imagine what they would say in reviews of Richard’s upcoming movie Into the Storm) that’s why I prefer reading something much closer to the heart like this.

    It’s amazing how a play — this whole collection of words weaving a story, of actors inhabiting their parts to the point that you see past them and you just see the story unfold — touches people, how it elicits different reactions every time, informed of course by our own experiences and influences in life. I am not a big theater goer, unfortunately, but I always appreciate what I get to watch on stage. I love stories. I love movies. I’m in awe of talent; of people coming together and weaving magic together. I can only imagine how I would feel if I were there; I do cry in movies so why would this be any different? 🙂

    You’ve also touched on a lot of important things from your insights on Christianity and its part in the story; to how timely the story still is to this day; and what the actors bring to the play. There can be many awful things about the Internet, but certainly, people like you who share your thoughts (and not just shallow opinions for the sake of saying something or even for trolling) make for the good things about it because it opens discussions, it inspires people to maybe want to go out and experience the things you write about for themselves, and gets people thinking about what matters to them as well. So, thank you once again. And keep writing… I’m sure your followers would keep on reading 🙂 Oh, and happy birthday again!

    All the best,
    Annie (TheAAList on Twitter)

  16. Dear Annie,

    I am so grateful and humbled by your kind words about my review. It is funny that you should mention about how you would like to go to The Barbican next summer to see Benedict Cumberbatch. I know who he is but I can’t say I remember as memorable anything I have seen with him in it. Having said that, Hamlet has to be one of the big classics as far as theatre is concerned, so I may well try and go and see that too.

    Thank you for your lovely birthday wishes. As I said to you earlier, your words have made my birthday extra special. I hope your dreams do come true and that you are indeed able to come to London and see a play and then interview other actors and write wonderful interviews as the one you had with Richard Armitage. By the way, did he travel to Manila for that?

    If you do come to London, get in touch and maybe we can go to the theatre together.

    All the best to you and thanks again for taking the time and effort to give me feedback on the review. It is a wonderful encouragement!

  17. Thank you for leaving a comment on my review :-). I just read yours and it was really interesting and well written! And you know what? We saw the play on the same day!

    • Oh my goodness Marie, what are the chances of that? Thank you for taking the time to leave me a comment. Your encouragement means a great deal to me. I love writing but I lack the time to really give it my all, and yet the passion does not go away. I think someone, somewhere is trying to tell me something. Maybe this is my time to pursue this dream as the kids are now older. Take care!

      • You are a very talented writer; yes, you should pursue your dreams….I will read your work any day. You seem both passionate and compassionate and have interesting insights.

  18. Dear Mercedes, thank you for directing me to your review of TC where I can now leave some proper thanks for retweeting the link to my own review. This was certainly a review that was different from what I have read so far. (And caveat: I haven’t read that many (fan) reviews before I went to see the play because I did not want to be influenced by previous reviewers’ opinions.)
    It was very interesting to read your unique take on the play and this particular staging of it – from a Christian perspective. And kudos to you for decidedly writing so, as the play is usually not taken literally at all but only seen as a parable for the 1950s anti-Communist witch hunts in the US. It speaks for Miller’s play that the text can be taken literally, as well as figuratively, for each and every reader/viewer to find relevance and reference to their own unique life experience in it. This universality of the play is what struck me most – how Miller was able to use a Christian theme to write about a historico-political series of incidents in such general humanist terms that the play is valid fifty years on.
    That is the power of theatre. It is the looking-glass of society. The immediacy of the action on the stage has so much more impact on the viewers, much more so than the dream factory of cinema. Theatre reduces, concentrates and magnifies human behaviour, evoking strong responses in the audience. It is a call to action rather than mere entertainment, and leaves a much stronger impression than the overload of sensory triggers in film imo.
    I think Yael Farber certainly nailed it with her interpretation of TC. Mass hysteria as opposed to personal, individual integrity is a central issue of 21st century society, especially in the day and age of the internet where we are subjected to an onslaught of mainstream opinion wherever we look. Even though she left the play in its original setting by dressing her characters in costume and by setting the scene with (vague) historical accuracy, her stage direction yanked it out of the time it was set in. I didn’t really feel like sitting in Salem, Massachussetts 1692, but like witnessing a contemporary event. One needs only think of Julian Assange or Edward Snowden and Proctor suddenly becomes a 21st century voice.
    Ok, I am beginning to ramble. Thanks again for the shout-out.
    PS: Loved that photo of you and RA at the stage door. I remember seeing it on another blog previously.

    • Hi There “Guylty”,

      Thank you so much for your comment and for reading my review. I thought yours was absolutely fantastic, witty, well written and spot on from every angle.
      I am glad you liked the photo too. Your last post about the “Stage Door” Review made me chuckle a lot! So true! That certainly was my experience too. Nevertheless, I am still excited that I was happy to have that photo taken and to meet him. Just because I am 45, I am not going to give up on hopes and dreams, no matter how puerile they are. We only live once, right?

      • Thanks for returning the visit, Mercedes!
        And yeah for 45. You know, I was discussing this bts with someone. It is great being “over-forty” – and having an open mind and a warm heart. Open to doing something out of the ordinary and warm for wanting to show appreciation at the stage door. We live only once, and let’s enjoy it while we are at it!

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