Old Vic Theatre, London

Old Vic Theatre, London

London, August 2014

On 26th June 2014, our English students took a trip to The Old Vic Theatre in London to see the critically acclaimed production of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. It was a long coach journey in rush-hour traffic to see the evening performance, but it was undeniably worth it. Especially for those who will be studying the play this year for their final exam.

Our students arrived at the theatre excited, if a little unsure what to expect, and quite keen to find a toilet after the 3 hour journey! Once seated in the slips of the theatre, we surveyed the stage and discussed how it was to be performed ‘in the round’, eagerly waiting to see an actor appear. The anticipation continued to grow as the stage started to fill, mystical chants began to echo, and a tense atmosphere spread throughout the space. Looking along the rows of our students it was clear to see that they were gripped by the story of power, love and revenge. By the interval (despite the first act running to two hours long) there was a buzz amongst the students as they discussed what was to come and the leading man’s physical attraction!
The second act maintained the force and drive created in the first, and by the time Proctor bellowed the ambigious declaration, ‘God is dead!’, our students were enthralled. Even if they didn’t know the plot, they could sense this was not going to end well for any of the characters. The protagonists’ pain was almost palpable, as they was torn between truth and lies, justice and corruption, and life and death. When the curtain finally fell there was an audible hush throughout the audience, overwhelmed by the power of this performance. As one of the students said on the return to college, ‘I was just mesmerised. I just couldn’t stop watching!’

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