We take a closer look at what critics have had to say about Lyndsey Turner’s production of Arthur Miller’s play, playing for a limited season in the West End.

Image: Brinkhoff-Moegenburg

Hackney Gazette: “All in all, the Crucible is a tremendous piece of acting that really shows it is human corruption and power we should fear instead of witchcraft.”

Time Out: **** “Luckily, Turner’s ‘The Crucible’ has an unwavering focus and enough brilliant core performances to overcome those niggles. Fisayo Akinade’s quietly crumbling Reverend Hale is a marvel and Nadine Higgin’s Tituba steals every scene she’s in.”

The Guardian: **** “Miller’s play rings with the rhetoric of righteousness, deployed by and against the townspeople, after its teenage girls start to have mysterious fits. The challenge is to force us to connect it with the uncomfortable witch-hunting, truth-denying culture of our own times.”

Theatre and Tonic: ***** “Overall, The Crucible is a continually impactful play which has been heightened by all aspects of this production. The show successfully explores a number of interesting concepts, such as mob mentality, community infighting and the danger caused by desperate people. All these strands came together to make a genuinely riveting show. The number of stand-out performances cannot be listed here and I would recommend anyone to go and see this production if they can. It is eerie, powerful and certainly a must-see.”

Lou Reviews: **** “It serves as both a satire on authority, and a warning to the power of persuasion – even more so now in our digital age where one casual, misplaced word could be misinterpreted.”

Evening Standard: ***** “There are sterling supporting performances here from Karl Johnson as pugnacious old farmer Giles Corey, Nia Towle as Abigail’s friend and foe Mary Warren, and Fisayo Akinade as the troubled Reverend John Hale.”

British Theatre.com: ***** “It’s a brutal slab of history, and with the sound design adding to the atmosphere this excellent revival of a classic play is highly recommended.”

The Upcoming: **** “The cast are all excellent; at a near three-hour running time and with themes of torture and execution, it’s a gruelling task for any actor. Karl Johnson stands out as Giles Corey, initially something of a comic character, whose arc is the most moving and troubling of them all. Fisayo Akinade as Reverend Hale conveys the sense of piety gone awry, a man who visibly unravels as he realises all his theological learnings mean nothing in the terrifying face of human irrationality dressed in righteous clothing.”

There Ought to Be Clowns: “The overall feel is of a genuine classic being given the full-wattage genuine classic treatment and it feels so salutory that it is now in the West End. A pointy reckoning for you if you don’t book.”

Broadway World: **** “Director Lyndsey Turner leans into the more religious aspects of the script; dissonant choral singing punctuates some of the weightier moments, creating some dark and atmospheric.  Her skillful direction also means that none of the characters within this ensemble production feel lost or superfluous, even though some appear in just a few scenes.”

The Stage: **** “Lyndsey Turner directs this West End transfer of the classic play, starring House of the Dragon’s Milly Alcock in a nerve-jangling production.”

West End Best Friend: *** “While certain aspects of this show ring true, it’s a shame that the production as a whole lacks enough emphasis on these to create a whole show worth revisiting. It’s one we are glad to have seen and will still sit with us yet there is definitely more untapped potential in the source material for the creative team to uncover here.”

The Arts Desk: **** “Arthur Miller’s 1953 play is as compelling as ever in Lyndsey Turner’s production.”

London Theatre1: **** “There’s an incredibly detailed script – Raphael Bushay’s Ezekiel Cheever even mentions the plight of livestock thanks to sheer number of farmers in custody – and this production of The Crucible is well worth seeing, even if it’s a play you know as well as John Proctor knows his own name.”

Lost in Theatreland: *** ” Directed by Lyndsey Turner, this classic play is, unfortunately, overall unimpressive and drags for an incredibly lengthy three hours (including interval). Water falls from the front of the stage, which is an aesthetic addition, but has no relevance to the show. During scene changes, the light illuminating the waterfall also illuminates the stage, allowing us to see the cast and stagehands moving about, making it look quite unprofessional. The stage is very obviously raked, with no optical illusion to even try to make it look flat. I marveled how the cast didn’t constantly slide down it. Nothing about the set (Es Devlin) or costumes (Catherine Fay) wowed me – once again, a very disappointing surprise for a National Theatre and now West End production.”

The Crucible continues to play at the Gielgud Theatre until the 2nd September. You can book tickets here.


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