I have already blogged about this production twice and reviewed it properly. This is more of a final wrap up of the last ever performance in London (which I went to) and the ‘In Conversation with Richard Armitage’ I attended on 02nd September. It also explains why I love this production so much and the influence it has had on my life which sounds terribly dramatic but I assure you its not but it is meaningful to me hence why I am writing about it.
Old Vic at night (that is the queue for autographs in front of the building!)
02nd September 2014
In Conversation with Richard Armitage at the Old Vic Theatre
I really wanted to hear Richard’s thoughts on how he approached the role of John Proctor and how he felt being back in the theatre after such a long absence. We weren’t allowed to take photos unfortunately (although I took a sneaky stage shot of the set up before he came on). I realised once the auditorium filled up that the temporary seating where the stage usually is was not being used as if you had been sitting there you would of been looking at the back of his head! So I felt very lucky that I had managed to get a ticket at all even up in the Gods. I had a decent view though and Richard was facing my side so had a very good view of him. It started dead on 5pm and he and the interviewer came on to rapturous applause. Both of them had obviously sat down with each other beforehand to discuss what angle they were going to take and Richard had done his research, marking a point in the play which spoke to him the character of John Proctor and bringing on a personal letter that someone had sent him. He was concise and articulate and answered his questions with much detail, so much so that at times he went off the point and asked “what was the question again?!” If you had not seen The Crucible it made you want to go and see it and if you had it was extremely interesting to hear how he gets into character, what he does prior to curtain up and at what point he gets into the zone before heading onto stage. It made me want to go and see it again that night but alas I had other arrangements and a ticket for the final show anyway. It ended all too soon at 5.45pm as we were told it would but I could of listened to him for hours!
13th September 2014
Final performance of The Crucible
I was so thankful that I was able to attend this as the last performance is something which as an actor you have mixed feelings about. Sad that it is all over and happy that you have been part of something special. I had a front row seat in the dress circle which to my surprise was a great view. My right side was slightly blocked by staging but otherwise I saw everything and actually saw the actors faces clearer in some parts. To my left I could actually see the actors entering the backstage area I think it must of been a reflection of some sort but I could see it in the corner of my eye.
As soon as the music started (which you can listen to here) and the actors entered I could feel that this was going to be an amazing performance. The tension was palpable and the passion was oozing out of them, the atmosphere was electric. There were not so many noticeable changes this time but the sexual tension between Abigail and John was heightened with a definite difference in staging between them on their first encounter, predominantly when he was sat in a chair and she was between his legs in a very innuendo laden position. The scene between him and his wife had me in tears when she was arrested and I really felt that both of the actors gave everything in that scene and Richards emotions were so raw and heart wrenching. He took longer in his washing scene this time and made himself so wet that it made his shirt very damp, not an unattractive feature.
The court scene was once again awe inspiring and edge of the seat captivating. Even though I knew what was coming I held my breath again when Elizabeth Proctor was asked if John had been unfaithful which just shows the talent of these actors. By the end of the play I was in tears once again and a standing ovation was inevitable. I took some sneaky pictures seeing as it was the last time and I just felt so honoured to have been there. Those actors could of not been better and left it all out there on that stage. They must of been drained. It did not finish until 11.10pm and when I left the queue it was all the way around the building so I did not attempt to wait to try and get an autograph. After reading some reviews though I am glad I did not bother as it was not handled very well, lots of pushing and shoving and Richard could not get to everyone. Another great thing for me was that the lady sitting next to me had not seen it before but from what I could gather was watching it on recommendation from a friend. She really got into it and gasped and cried and laughed all the way through (in all the right places I should add) which for me who had seen it twice before, was great to hear and see as she obviously enjoyed it and was absorbed by it all.
So now it is all over until they air the filmed version in cinemas that is and it is available for download!
So why has this play made such an impact on me?
Well to cut a long story short for the earlier part of this year I had lost all my passion for acting and singing and felt very disillusioned by the whole industry and felt like maybe it was not for me anymore. I thought that maybe I would take a break from it all for a few years and perhaps move to the South West coast and settle down, get a property and full time job and return to it another time. I was researching properties in Devon and actually had two interviews offered to me for teaching assistant posts down there. I was on the brink, a hairs breath away from giving it all up (temporarily). Then on the 23rd July 2014 I saw The Crucible and when I walked out of that theatre I said to myself “Angela you stupid girl, you cant give this up, that is what you want to do, that’s your dream and where you want to be and there is no reason you can’t be doing it. The only thing stopping you is you. Get a grip”. And so from that moment on I have been applying and singing and auditioning like a mad thing and getting a grip on my life. I won’t be getting my own place in Devon for now but hopefully moving into a house share somewhere. I have got some potential things lined up and auditions coming up and also to refresh my skills and learn some new ones I will be attending acting classes every week until December which will boost my confidence too. I am feeling positive and excited and it is all down to the Old Vic and The Crucible and the whole cast for inspiring me and giving me the push to keep going. So perhaps understandably this is the reason why I love the play so much and why it is hard to let it go. But in moments of insecurity and doubt all I need to do is look at the poster or listen to that haunting music and it all comes flooding back to me.
Well I hope you enjoyed this latest blog post and now no more will be said about The Crucible only that it did change my life and for that I am eternally thankful.